Cuts don’t hurt development
Your county government is frantically trying to convince you that you don’t really want your taxes lowered. A conspicuous dollar-sign at the top of the county’s home page links to a scary list of county budget cuts made to show you where your tax reform will get you. These cuts were the subject of a June 1 press conference called by County Administrator Pat Bean who asked that the cameras remain on her after her speech so she could talk directly to the citizens and tell you to be careful what you ask for:
When that shiny package with the big red bow on it is set before you that says “Tax Relief,” please look inside and understand what the implications are…
Well, the implications are money in your pocket. But your county has sent Pat Bean to tell you if you look deeper into that gift horse, and check that scary list, you’ll see the county’s going to cut lots of stuff you want. I guess they think we won’t notice they’re cutting precious little that special interests want.
The list is divided into 3 levels, depending on how deep the state forces the county to cut back. In the very first level the county threatens to cut mega-multi-millions from Children’s Services, Affordable Housing, Environmental Lands, Fire Rescue, Libraries, and more; while shaving a mere $10,000 from Pat Bean’s own budget. And what would be cut from the Planning & Growth Management Dept? Nothing that would inconvenience developers. The only cut there is to a “new sexually oriented business licensing program.”
Right after the press conference, Pat Bean sent your “neighborhood leaders” a scary letter along with the legislators’ contact info, hoping you’ll tell your legislators that you agree with County Commission Chair Jim Norman who has been calling the proposed tax cuts an “economic Katrina” any time he gets near a microphone.
Not that he’s suffering any disaster. His pet sports complex is not on the chopping block and the county commissioners will be hanging onto their $92,000 salaries. On top of that, Pat Bean recently doubled the 7 commissioners’ car allowance to $600 a month which you will remember is
one of the most generous car allowances in the state.
When the commissioners start tightening their belts, and making developers start paying their way, then we can begin to have a real conversation about how to spend our money. (First, let’s stop wasting our taxes subsidizing over-development!) Until my commissioners start spending my taxes responsibly, I’m not asking my state legislators to leave more of my money with these guys.
If you want to speak up about this, here’s how:
- Talk to your legislators about this on Tuesday June 5 from 6 – 9 p.m., at the University Area Community Center Complex gymnasium, 14013 North 22 Street
- Write your legislative delegation
- Write your county commissioners & county administrator (Pat Bean)