I have heard Councilor Gaffney say many times that we need to talk about taxes when the budget is rolled out in April/May and not in December. We hear your Councilor Gaffney!! Take a moment and read our column from May 22, 2016 where we listed 5 ideas to save millions of the budget. Two of them(#3 and #5) have been adopted for this budget;
5. North High debt: In 2014 we allocated approximately $1.4 million in the Five Point Plan for the North High Construction Fund. This makes sense since the annual payment on the North High debt is the same amount. In 2015, 2016 and now 2017 we are allocating over $3 million in the Five Point Plan for North High Construction Fund. Why are we putting as much is due into this fund?? Roll the annual amount back to the same level as in 2014 and we save approximately $1,500,000 million
3. Updated FY16 budget numbers for Local Receipts: In addition to our Property Tax Levy, we have income from other resources. It is a long list; for example, Hotel and meals tax, trash bag collection fees etc. In the 2016 budget we budgeted for 40,750,100 while the prior year (2015) was at 43,001.135– a reduction of $3,000,000. We are curious as to how the budgeted number this year of $40 million compares to the actual collections, especially in light of the big reduction from the prior year.
Why does that make a difference? Approximately the same numbers (39,662,495) was budgeted for this next budget (2017). If the collections for this year are more like $42 million versus $40 then we could budget the $42 million for next year (2017) and take that off the levy.
Bottom line is that we need someone to ask the question as to what the actual local receipts will be for 2016?
That’s right two of our fives ideas were adopted!! Not only adopted but the North High number was rolled back $3,ooo,ooo!! In total it looks like two of ideas were adopted to the tune of a tax savings to Commercial and Residential Taxpayers of $5,400,000.
Stay tuned we are going to focus on these budget numbers for FY18 continually from now ending with the setting of the rate next November/December. Think we may come up with a fiscal grade for each councilor. Look back at 2017 only two Councilors got a 100% from Gaffney
- Gaffney A+
- Lukes A
Great ideas are not great unless someone pushes them forward to become a reality, than you Councilor Gaffney and Councilor Lukes.