Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why We Don't Get The Newspaper

Yesterday while waiting at Pios for my pepperoni to be sliced I started reading the story on the cover our local newspaper, my attention having been caught by a headline of a local property tax cut for 2008: Tax cut likely as city levy frozen. Those in Indiana will understand as taxes for many rose sharply last month. Mine was only slated to go up a paltry 34% but I talked them down to 8%. Sheesh.

The story (see below) goes on to state that instead of increasing property taxes for 2008, as our beloved corrupt mayor wants, they will most likely use the same painfully high tax rate as 2007. I may only have a public school education but this is most certainly not a tax cut. The liberal paper is trying so hard to spin a positive Democrate message out of this that it's ridiculous. The 2008 tax rate was not even official, and yet by not raising our taxes for 2008 we have somehow gotten a tax cut.

That's like a bully saying that he gave you a sandwich as he takes your twinkie because originally he was going to take your entire lunch.

They want me to pay money for news like this??!?!

< stolen article >
Fort Wayne residents should see a drop in city property taxes next year after the City Council unanimously approved a flat tax levy for 2008.

The council Tuesday approved a proposal from Councilmen John Crawford, R-at-large, and Tim Pape, D-5th, to cut Mayor Graham Richard’s proposed property tax levy by $3.7 million. The levy is the total amount of property taxes collected by a government.
With the cut, the city would collect the same amount of property taxes next year that it will this year: $99.4 million.

Controller Pat Roller estimated the cut would mean the owner of a $100,000 house in the city will save $15.50 in city property taxes next year. Richard’s proposed budget would have meant a $3.38 increase in city taxes for the same home owner.

Taxes will drop even though the amount collected remains the same because the overall amount of property taxed is expected to increase through appreciation and new construction. The more people who pay the same bill, the less each one pays.

The cut, however, was challenged by Roller. She said it would lead to the emptying of the city’s cash reserves by 2012. If the council approves a proposal to begin saving money to pay off $226 million in unfunded police and fire pension liabilities, she said the cash reserves will run out in 2010. Roller also said several financial factors remain unknown for next year’s budget, including how much income tax revenue the city will receive.

The council also unanimously approved about $1.3 million in spending cuts, including removing the money for 10 police officers and five firefighters. Crawford, who authored the cuts, said they reflect the two departments’ history of having open positions and spending less money than budgeted. He said the council would likely approve more money if staffing levels were higher than normal.

The cuts in spending, however, don’t match the cut in revenue for the city, meaning the city will have to make further cuts or dip into its cash balance to pay for the difference. Pape said the easiest way to make government work more efficiently is to give it less money to operate.
“Do you really think there isn’t any more excess, fat or performance to be improved upon?” he asked. “This is not risky. This is not irresponsible.”

Crawford said the city also has an estimated $40 million in a trust that will come due in 2009 that can be used to pay off obligations if necessary.

Pape said he hoped cutting the amount of money available for city government would again spur discussions on how to combine like departments with county government.

Councilman Tom Hayhurst, D-4th, said the cut was a good way to show taxpayers the council is responsive to their concerns about rising tax bills. Many on the council said they have heard from residents how rising property tax bills are hurting them.
< /stolen article >

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