Thursday, June 26, 2008

Who Tried to Raise Our Property Taxes?

Remember last fall when Mayor Dan Coody proposed raising our property taxes to pay for the record growth of expenses in the city budget since he took office? The sky was falling, and we were told the city must raise property taxes by $1 million in October without a vote of the people. Doug Thompson laid bare Coody's convoluted demand for more taxes, months before the mayor would finally submit a late budget for 2008 to the City Council for consideration in November. Just show him the money and don't ask questions.

"We had the impression that the city administration got the cart before the horse with its proposal, looking for additional revenue before the City Council actually reviewed the 2008 budget,"
said The Morning News. The City Council agree by a vote of 5-3. Aldermen Shirley Lucas, Nancy Allen, Kyle Cook, Bobby Ferrell, and Lioneld Jordan voted against Coody's tax hike. They vowed to take a close look and make the hard choices to trim the fat from the budget. Only Adella Gray, Brenda Thiel, and Robert Rhoads supported the $1 million property tax increase that Coody wanted to impose.

April sales tax figures are in, and they show clearly that we did not need the Coody tax increase bonanza. Fayetteville sales tax revenues are
up 11.7% over last April, from $1,197,293 in April 2007 to $1,337,377 in 2008. Compare that with the lower revenue growth in Bentonville (+3.6%), Rogers (+3.4%), and Springdale (-7%).

Read my lips. I'm glad that the thinking majority of the City Council had the courage and good sense to stand firm against the unnecessary Coody tax increase proposal. They stayed and worked through a frugal and practical budget for our city while Mayor Coody was off vacationing in France with the cheese-eating surrender monkeys. They were right; he was wrong.

Don't be too surprised if Dan doesn't try again to raise our property taxes before the end of the year.

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