Friday, August 12, 2011

West Valley City raises property taxes - option 3

A big thank you to the City Council for cutting the West Valley City budget shortfall so property taxes were not raised 2 or 3 times as much.

Based on current commitments, I believe there was only 3 choices for the proposed budget year.

For the 2012 budget, raise taxes, cut programs, or use one time money to cover the shortfall.

For the following year, there could be other savings, but you need to get a lot deeper than the 20 page version of the budget most people didn't even see to find most of them.

Someone this last week, either the council or the city manager, decided option 3 wasn't going to be used and pulled $3.2 million one time revenue out of the general budget and moved it to another account. That meant they had to find over $3 million in general budget savings in a week, which was done.

That accomplished, if they had simply put the $3.2 million back in, they could have deleted the property tax increase. It wouldn't have pretty, but could make a big difference in a lot of WVC businesses that are struggling to stay open, or waiters or waitresses that are now looking for another job because they can't afford to work for a WVC restaurant clinging to stay open.

Again, you hit businesses and people with any tax increase when there is a depression and you increase the number of people you see living out of their car and the number of businesses boarded up. Again, I don't like one time money bridging on going operation budget gaps, but it would have been better than what they did.

When faced with tough choices, it is easy for those outside to criticize, while those we delegate the responsibility to make the best choice they can with the information they have. If we don't tell them what we are thinking, how will they know?

I applaud those on the council that had enough backbone to do what they thought was the best choice when they knew it wasn't going to be popular.

I do not, however, believe that raising taxes was the answer.