Interesting story in todays Union Tribune about the city of Encinitas bogarting our tax money. Remember all the scare tactics over the budget former city manager Kerry Miller played with us? I say it's time for the city to REDUCE some fees.
Proposed budget includes big-ticket items
By Angela Lau
April 20, 2007
ENCINITAS – Thanks to increasing property tax
revenue and budget surpluses, Encinitas will have more than enough money to build priority facilities, boost its reserves to an unprecedented level and go high tech, a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year shows.
It will even spare property owners the threat of fee increases in two controversial programs – pollution control, and street lighting and landscaping.
The city will use general funds to subsidize those.
In doing so, city officials are acknowledging the harsh lessons learned in 2005 and last year when voters rejected a $3-to $5-per-year increase in the Lighting and Landscape District's assessment and a $5-a-month pollution control fee.
Not only did voters say no, but critics repeatedly accused the city of nickel-and-diming property owners.
read the rest of the story here.
I don't know if am ready to swallow this as something other than spin (because they tried to raise our taxes!) and the city has played shell games with money before that makes not a subsidy of those projects, and instead some of it is going the other way...
I might be giving the city some applause because many people have suggested this years ago, although the city is only halfway there. Member of the Encinitas Taxpayers Assoc wanted them to actually REDUCE some of our fees. Flush Encinitas should cut, not raise taxes.
The Encinitas City Council repeatedly proclaims that it has done a wonderful job with the city's budget. The city has plenty of money, enough to absorb citywide pay and pension raises and increases in staffing. If things are so great, why does the council proceed so frantically when it comes to obtaining more taxes?
Consider the recent clean-water tax. It was illegally enacted. Then the city spent money to defend it in court even though the obvious outcome would be a legal defeat. The city sent ballots to city landowners in the hope that we would elect to send the city more money for its streetlight assessment. The city manager sent residents an accompanying letter filled with confusing and scary propaganda that the city would cut services if revenue did not increase.
Fortunately, residents voted against increased taxes.
Unfortunately, the council has wasted tens of thousands of dollars on it is failed efforts to raise our taxes. If we trust the city's rosy predictions, the city's income should be increasing in the next few years. Instead of increasing the size of government, let's give tax money back to the residents. Let's use those future revenue increases to eliminate the lighting assessment that the council was trying to
Hopefully, the city is now shifting away from nickel and dime mode. I would also like to note that the amount of property tax collected from Leucadia must be an absolute windfall. I'm looking forward to seeing that money invested back into Leucadia.
Leucadia!: Financial Flimflam
Leucadia!: More Dirty Tricks, a must read