Sometimes what you say is as important as what you do. In the administration’s yearly stab at raising our property taxes (even with property values and housing costs thru the roof) they are now using language that says we basically have a legal obligation to raise your taxes (Item #61):
Background & Objective: This ordinance shows the budgets of the Governmental Funds for the year ending December 31, 2024, and the required revenues and sources.
Notice the word ‘required’ added to the description. There is NO requirement that the city raises our property taxes. Budgets are fluid when you are proposing them, and the city council can amend that budget so an increase would NOT be required.
Within the actual ordinance itself, the language is even more suggestive;
That the sums of money that are listed in Exhibit A attached hereto and made a part of this ordinance are appropriated to meet the lawful expenses and liabilities of the City in fiscal year 2024.
So does the city council have a legal requirement to pass this? NO. The only requirement they have is to either pass it or not and adjust the budget accordingly. They do have a choice in the matter and to suggest they MUST legally pass this to uphold the PROPOSED 2024 budget is a load of hogwash.
This will likely pass with maybe 1 or 2 dissenters, but I hope a couple of the dissenters get together and have an amendment discussion about removing the language that suggests they must LEGALLY vote for the increase.
Over the years when I have seen past administrations pull this stunt where they tell councilors they have a legal obligation to vote YES I ask the question? Then why are they even bothering to vote if they have NO choice?
Cut the crap! There is NO legal requirement to raise our taxes, but there is a legal requirement that our city council acts within the best interest of the public’s coffers, and with one of the worst economic downturns since 2008 and housing costs skyrocketing, that best interest would be to vote NO on an increase and let the administration make the cuts to the budget THEY proposed. Then let them have a poutfest presser calling out the council for doing their due diligence.
MORE FUN WITH THE COUNCIL TUESDAY NIGHT
The council will also get an update on the disposal of the zoo mounts at the informational meeting, then they will be sucked into a series of executive sessions in which I’m sure they will be told they only have ONE option on the matter (because it is easier to bully councilors behind closed doors). It will also be interesting to see if the presentation includes any recommendations from experts.
During the regular meeting they will also be discussing creating an arts commission (Item #63). This is another initiative by the mayor’s office that has been shrouded in secrecy. While I support the concept of more public arts coordination with the city NOT under the current management.