The City of Cleveland gently prepared taxpayers for a future property tax increase because of cost overruns for building Mayfield Elementary School, while earlier during the budget process they received loud accolades for holding the line on property tax increases. The truth is, the city council have embarked on a wish-list construction plan that can't be fed by existing tax revenue which, when you think of it, is a plan that forces property tax hikes to keep pace. They warned of a 2-3 cent per $100 assessed value increase for fiscal year 2008 which probably means next year 2007, but who believes it will be held at 2-3 cents when history shows it is likely to be 5-10 even 15 cents or more. The attitude is that if they are going to make the taxpayers mad, then make them mad with a big increase in a non election year, to feed the wish-list until the next property tax increase during another non voting year, and so on.
This is not fiscally responsible government. You may say that if it is for a new school then the increase is justified. What would you say if the city council had built the school with existing funds and asked for a property tax increase to build the new police administration building? Or a Greenway extension, or propping up the Five Points Museum or a new airport. It is the same tax increase being used for all these but the reason for wanting it is presented in a way that will cause less political backlash.
There are a dozen ways to fund a school without raising taxes but it requires the postponing of less urgent needs until money becomes available. It is annoying that the city council is treating the citizens as idiots by presenting an increase this way. Where is the integrity, the ethics, the truthfulness? A fiscally responsible building plan is one that can be achieved using realistic existing tax projections - simply put, living within your means. You wouldn't buy a house you couldn't afford then expect your boss to give you a raise to make up the difference, so why should the city council?
That's what I think. What do you think?
Website Survey Results