This Just In: Eight Council Members Tell Mary Suhm They Want a 4.91-Cent Tax Hike

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Moments ago I received from council member Angela Hunt's office a memo that follows, in which Hunt and seven of her colleagues (Delia Jasso, Vonciel Hill, Steve Salazar, Carolyn Davis, Pauline Medrano, Tennell Atkins and Dwaine Caraway) call for a significant tax hike -- 4.91 cents per $100 in valuation. The reason:

Reducing basic services and deferring essential city needs, in an attempt to balance the budget, is short sighted and ill-advised. Crumbling infrastructure, shuttered libraries, neglected parks, and vacant recreation centers create neither vibrant, healthy, sustainable neighborhoods nor a city in which businesses will invest. This approach both reduces the quality of life for our citizens and costs taxpayers substantially more in the long-run.

Without question, today's challenging economy requires reduced city spending, and we whole-heartedly agree that the city must tighten its belt. Even with our modest service restorations, this year's overall budget is less than last year's. Jobs have been eliminated and services have been reduced in every department. All city employees -- including our police officers and firefighters -- are taking salary decreases.

Despite these unfortunate, but necessary, cuts, taxpayers still deserve a budget that sustains our quality of life while ensuring that the city lives within its means. To balance these interests, we propose amending the City Manager's budget, to be funded by a tax rate increase of $0491. Although this rate adjustment will result in less property tax revenue than last year due to decreased property values, it will nonetheless allow the city to restore fundamental services.

The proposed restorations to services are contained within the memo on the other side. Still, though, why not the whole 4.93 cents?

Tax Hike Memo

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