Sit down and be quiet; NOT!

I would like to thank the Argus Leader for printing this letter:

I’m asking all registered voters in Sioux Falls to join me in signing an initiated petition to decrease the city sales tax in 2010. The timing couldn’t be better. There will be a new mayor taking office in 2010 and the possibility of up to four new councilors. This will be the perfect opportunity for citizens to hand them a policy of fiscal restraint and responsibility.

The past six years our city has spent beyond its means. Our city debt is approaching $300 million, we are $80 million behind on road maintenance, and 2009’s budget is a record $412 million. This whopper includes a multitude of capital improvement plan expenditures that are merely handouts to special interest campaign contributors and consultants and unnecessary park and building beautification projects, not road maintenance and infrastructure improvements as city officials would like you to believe.

Our sales tax revenue has doubled during the past decade, so why are we in such a hole? I’ve asked this question several times at council meetings and only have received the runaround from our leaders.

A responsible and representational city government would have granted its citizens with either a tax cut or maintained our current infrastructure while paying down our debt. Instead, four of the councilors and the mayor handed us a maximum tax increase while continuing to borrow more. They claim the extra revenue will be spent on new roads, but there is nothing legally binding them to that promise. Just look at the spending habits of the past six years.

The current City Hall is going to try to dissuade you from voting for this tax decrease. But don’t let their myths about choking growth and progress fool you. With all the consultants and surveys our city has paid for during the past six years, there hasn’t been a single one that has shown lower taxes stunt growth or higher taxes spur growth.

City officials say local business drives our economy. With this I agree. But this only happens when citizens are spending more of their own money on goods and services instead of on higher taxes.

The taxpayers are unknowingly paying for a lame-duck mayor’s legacy. Sign the petition and let the citizens – not a lame-duck mayor and council – decide how our tax dollars should be spent.


#1 Emanuel on 11.22.08 at 9:07 pm

Where do I sign?

#2 l3wis on 11.23.08 at 1:51 am

You did already, but we have a booth at Benson’s Flea Market Dec 5-6,

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