Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fat Spat in Taxing Situation

Mayor Dan Coody and his Budget Boy Paul Becker are pushing an increase in property taxes to add another $1 million to the city coffers. They sprung this surprise late in the game and are demanding that the City Council make a quick decision with little time to examine alternatives. A property tax is certainly more fair than the regressive sales tax, and it might be needed, but several members of the City Council think our local government should first look for ways to cut unnecessary expenses.

Those speaking up for fiscal responsibility during the agenda session yesterday included Ward Two Aldermen Nancy Allen and Kyle Cook, Ward Three Alderman Bobby Ferrell, and Ward Four Alderman Lioneld Jordan. “Obviously, we have to look at the city first and see ways to tighten our own budget,” said Alderman Allen. Alderman Cook agreed, “To blatantly go willy-nilly after more millage without being a good steward of the taxpayers’ money and going through and taking a hard look at everything out there, then we’re not doing our jobs.” Alderman Ferrell remarked, “I don’t have a lot to say about it except we need to cut more costs than ribbons.”

The Council is to be commended for their commitment to examine current expenditures and perhaps avoid having to raise taxes to cover cost overruns or inefficient programs. They’ll be meeting with Mayor Coody and finally get to see his proposed budget during a Saturday morning session at the Fayetteville Municipal Airport – and the airport budget would be a good place to start looking for savings, since it is always losing money, serving very few residents, and requiring taxpayers to make up the difference for its continuing budget deficits.

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