Let’s increase revenues without increasing taxes

4 Mar

We had a great meeting at the library today and again I want to thank everybody who came down.

Something that really impresses me is the diversity of this group, people who have had disagreements in the past, who take time out from their personal schedules to work together toward a common goal. These people are hard workers.

Today we had a great discussion about ways in which the city could address our current deficit without raising the sales tax.

First, there’s the need to reduce expenditures. We all realize we need certain staff services, but we also know there are problems with the current contracts. We’d like to see to see more employees, at lower salaries, who pay a bigger share of their own healthcare and pension premiums, instead of a few highly paid individuals who constantly complain that they can’t serve us adequately because they are short of staff.  There is an opportunity coming up this year to re-negotiate the generous contracts that were made behind closed doors during the boom years, before the “sunshine” laws required sharing the contracts with the public. We’d like to see some “flexibility” in dealing with these contracts, instead of being held off by the forehead by our elected leaders and staff and told that renegotiating  our way out of this mess, created by salaries and benefits, would be “reneging on our promises…”

We also discussed ways in which the city could raise revenues without putting the squeeze on taxpayers. We believe they could go farther to promote business and therefore generate more sales tax through increased sales instead of increased tax. I’ve seen the regulations and fees – yes, the city can come off as being hostile to business. This is a basic attitude problem.  Remember the WalMart conversation – Scott Gruendl asked WalMart for a million dollars, to be put toward swapping out woodstoves – in exchange for permission to expand on their own property in order to increase the amount of merchandise they could carry and therefore the amount of sales tax they could generate. The expansion would have allowed WalMart to carry a larger grocery selection, bringing in more customers who would also be exposed to more taxable goods. Our city staff and council need to adopt a more practical attitude toward promoting business instead of exploiting the very people who are willing to take risks to stimulate our local economy.

We’re planning another meeting next month, and we’re trying to line up some guest speakers. In the meantime, we’re trying to make council aware that we do not support this  tax, while trying at the same time to be part of the solution.  Keep writing those letters to the council and the newspaper, talk to your neighbors and friends.

2 Responses to “Let’s increase revenues without increasing taxes”

  1. Sue Pease March 5, 2012 at 5:58 am #

    Love your blog! is there any way to make the font color black instead of grey? the currant color is very hard for these old eyes to read… keep up the good work.

    • Juanita Sumner March 5, 2012 at 6:35 am #

      thanks! I’ll work on it – I have not figured out all the buttons and gadgets on this blog yet, but I find something new everyday.

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