From today's SN-L come this article, "Plunge into tax? Not now"
From the article:
The economy is shaky. Unemployment rates remain very high. Average incomes here remain relatively low, with many people on fixed incomes. Even those with good jobs have lived through three years with minimal pay raises, while the cost of living (health care and gasoline, for instance) continues to increase...But we ask: can we slow down some new projects? Can we find some alternative revenue sources, such as user fees?
The march toward a tax increase has been on automatic pilot, with little thought to affordability, or to the possibility of more important priorities. We urge the commissioners, and the Park Board, to take another look and see if a way can be found to avoid increasing the tax at this time.
Frequent bus riders may recall a similar sentiment expressed by the bus driver in February, 2008:
We voted in the sales tax for the park, indeed I voted for it, in good times. Now that we are hitting bad times, there are probably more important things to spend our money on than million dollar horse and pony shows and a tricycle parkThis from March 31, 2008 "Will City Council Vote Against These Kids?"
Mayor Carlson, to his credit, said the core mission of the city was to provide minimum basic services and there was considerable debate where the parks department and supporting non-profits fit in that core mission..
Councilman Burlison asked about diverting the park sales tax to fix the pension issue. Some of the tax is going for operations, some of it going for new stuff. I have put forth idea before and, like Councilman Burlison, didn't get a solid answer