In two short years, we’ve restored the health of our City’s financial condition while giving taxpayers a break, which is the result of our commitment to finally bringing in fiscal responsibility, sound financial planning, and taxpayer relief.
We actually ended our last fiscal year with a surplus that we put toward paying off the city hall bond debt, where by doing so we saved taxpayers $226,800 in interest!
We put an end to the years of talk about a senior tax cap and finally got it passed. Now our city’s senior citizens will not be impacted by any future municipal tax rate increases.
Putting the sales-tax increase before voters.
We’ve ushered in a new mindset in government, which includes the principle that the government should never increase the tax-rate without the expressed consent of the people.
So, when a $.5 increase to the municipal sales-tax rate was being considered, which would raise the total sales tax rate in the city to 8.25%, we included it in our first-ever citizen survey, where respondents gave overwhelming support.
Though the survey gave overwhelming support for the sales tax-rate increase we still put the issue on the ballot for voters to decide where it was approved by a large margin.*
Comprehensive reviews of all major city contractors.
We brought every major city contractor before the City in open sessions where every Council member had unlimited time to ask questions and get the answers they need as we considered three things:
- Is the service provided by the contractor necessary for the city;
- Is our contractor best suited to serve our citizens, and;
- Are there things in the contract that we should renegotiate to improve the level of service and accountability?
The benefits from this process are undeniable. In some instances, we were able to renegotiate a new contract and in others, we found other contractors that were better suited to meet the City’s needs.
This has already resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to taxpayers! For a city with a $1.1 million budget, that’s significant.
As of March, we were 77% of our revenue for the year and 37% of expenses (13% under where we were projected to be). As of the end of February, our cash on hand is $1,259,377. When we took office two years ago, cash on hand was a quarter of that amount, which demonstrates that the financial position of our city is incredibly strong.
The Tax Rollback two years ago did not stop us from lowering the tax rate again!
We also lowered our tax rate to a flat $.15, which proves once and for all that our successful fight to roll back the tax-rate increase imposed on us two years ago did not diminish our City’s financial condition as the political ruling class had claimed it would.
That’s because the financial challenges that our city was facing were not due to a lack in taxpayer funding but the lack of fundamental financial stewardship which was the direct result of fiscal incompetence by officeholders like Moody & Hatfield.
*Before pushing through his added tax rate increase over and above the increase for the city hall bond, former Mayor Moody could have done the very same thing, but he didn’t. At the end, of course, voters took back control and rolled that tax-rate increase back!