Letter: No current City Council can bind a future council’s actions
I am strongly against a 20 percent increase (3.7 to 4.45 is 20.27 percent) in sales tax to fix Glenwood’s streets for several reasons. In 2018, the city budgeted approximately $4 million dollars per year for five years to infrastructure and improvement projects. In the 2019 budget, those funds disappeared. Where did the money go?
Looking at the 2019 city budget for street tax fund, $100,000 was allotted for alley maintenance and $400,000 was allotted for 22nd Street, which is a dead end street between the Sinclair station and Alpine Bank. Add to that $1.6 million for more projects on Seventh Street? City Council seems to have a hard time prioritizing the tax dollars it brings in.
And speaking of tax dollars coming in, “pretty strong across the board,” Chief Operating Officer Steve Boyd said of Glenwood’s most up-to-date economic data. The main retail areas all trending up is a good indication of strong local spending as well.
“Long story short, in October 2018, Glenwood shoveled in over $1.4 million worth of sales tax revenue, marking a 15 percent increase compared to that from October of 2017. (Post Independent Dec. 19, 2018).
This theme is reflected in many Post Independent articles over the past year. Do we want to throttle down the strong sales growth the city has by increasing its sales tax by 20 percent? There is no doubt our streets need repaired, but a $137 million dollar tax for a $55 million dollar repair does not make sense. Don’t be fooled, the ballot language states “a twenty-year period”— that is binding. Farther into the ballot notice it states “By ordinance, the revenue cannot be used for any other purpose…” That is a non-binding statement. The fact of the matter is no current City Council can bind a future council’s actions. We the citizens need to vote “No” and send this back to City Council for a more thoughtful approach to the problem.