Today, our newly formed council passed the 2011 budget. After numerous painful meetings and much deliberation (often hijacked by personal agenda’s), council saddled the taxpayer with an approximate $1 million increase in year over year, budget spending.
This represents an approximate 6% increase in operating expenditures over 2010. Council is quick to remind us that it’s only 2% on your tax bill. Why? Because $561,385.00 of the million dollars was new found money generated from a windfall 3.9% increase in new assessments from development activity. Note, prior to 2011, the increase available from new assessment ran on average 1.9%
So a mere, paltry 2% before you pay your 14% sewer and water rate increase, and only a mere and paltry 2% increase before other costs are piled on such as education levies, waste, and other county charges. As one councilor so aptly put it, this year’s budget lays the foundation upon which next years increases will be based. Will we see the same windfall in assessment base to support yet more increases next year? Another councilor was “on the money”, when he stated, his concern at this alarming trend.
So we put the question to the taxpayers of Midland:
Will you, the gainfully employed residents of Midland, receive a 6% increase in your take home pay this year?
Will you, the valued retiree on a pension or some form of fixed income, receive a 6% increase to your nest egg this year?
Will you, the employer, the small business, who continues to take substantial risk in this fragile economy grow your revenues sufficient enough to pass along 6% to your cost line, and ultimately to your customers?
Even more surprising than the outrageous result is, some councilors who voted against this run-a-way train budget”, suggested we should be spending more- Oh my- such a compelling case for teaching financial literacy in public school. In the final analyses, it seems once again, council knows best where and how to spend your hard earned dollars: not you the taxpayer. An increase in spend approximately twice the rate of inflation.
For all your efforts, council at large receives a failing grade.
Roy Ellis and Stewart Strathearn on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Taxes-