I received my city provided services bill, along with a Budget Newsletter a few weeks ago. I was very concerned when I read the newsletter and discovered that the city is contemplating a raise on many taxes and fees. The 1 percent energy sales and use tax increase I could grudgingly go along with, inasmuch as the other cities in the area were already at that level Р not that this fact alone was a reason to raise the rate (this rate has already gone up).
However, I was also concerned about the proposed increases in property tax (apparently deferred until next year’s budget discussion), water (up from the bond issue last year), garbage (gone up already), park impact fees (up already) and drainage fees, which I believe are up as well.
In the current economy (or lack thereof for the past few years), I think these increases were ill-advised, as were proposed salary increases for city employees Р most people in the private sector have not had any increases for five years. City employees most likely got performance raises over that 5-year period, did they not? Does it make sense at this time to place additional tax burdens on the citizens of Centerville with these increases?
While I’m on my soapbox Й If memory serves me correctly, the city originally required some measure of performance from UTOPIA for any additional monies when $40,000 or so extra was given (oops, loaned to UTOPIA) last year.
This year, the city council went back and amended its minutes to reflect no performance required. The UTOPIA issue (in my opinion) is an illustration of poor judgment, considering that the communications industry has a nearly complete turnover of technology about every five years. However, we are now in it up to our necks. The current council has given more money ($163,000) oops, “loaned” for the coming year, without performance requirements. That’s in addition to Centerville’s $436,251 bond payment to UTOPIA.
I believe any additional money for UTOPIA should be granted only upon the condition of very strict performance levels/items that are stated clearly in written agreements. I’m not convinced that UTOPIA can manage our tax money, based upon past experience, so let’s force them to perform.
I’ll be supporting Larry Wright for Mayor of Centerville, and you can learn more at lawrencewright.org. I think our current city direction is too far toward the “tax and spend” ideas (with little or no oversight-management) that have gotten our country into a world of hurt and not enough toward the “let’s account for every penny of tax money we spend and make each one stretch.”
Centerville resident and Davis County Assessor