I would like to thank the hundreds of people who called me and the mayors office last week in support of lower taxes. That said, I think all of your comments are falling on deaf ears. More on that in a minute.
First, you have one and only one opportunity to voice your opinion in front of city council members on lower taxes. That opportunity is Wednesday morning at 7:30am. I know most people are getting kids to school and themselves to work at that time, but our mayor has chosen for that to be your only chance to speak against the proposed tax increase.
Now back to deaf ears. I called every member of the Lubbock City Council Monday and asked them if they planned to vote for a tax increase Wednesday. While some gave me a straight answer, most of them danced around the subject and Councilwoman DeLeon even told me it was illegal to ask this question...it's not.
Regardless, here's how I see it, I predict it will be a five two vote, with the two true conservatives, Councilman Boren and Leonard, voting against higher taxes. That leaves a majority, four city council members and a new mayor that promised tax relief in his campaign, all voting to raise our taxes. That's on top of an 11% increase in your water bill and another $1.50 a month in garbage. All that with possible new revenue from the strip and millions in new money from red light camera fines. Not to mention I'm now hearing council is asking Lubbock Power & Light to fork over $1 million bucks.
So what went wrong? Well, the majority of the council is letting the city manager dictate the tax rate, not the other way around. Congratulations Ms. Dumbauld.
Consider this...it appears the city manager will now have almost $12 million in new money due to growth, a conservative $3 million from red light fines, annexing the strip and a donation from LP&L, not to mention the additional $1.5 million in higher taxes to spend away. Hmmm...can you say spending problem?
Just weeks ago, Ms. Dumbauld presented a budget with a proposed 3 cent tax increase. If all the above come to fruition she will in essence be receiving the equivalent of a 4.6 cent increase plus the $12 million in new growth. It appears that city hall and city council are asking us to tighten our belt while they loosen theirs.
So where does that leave citizens like you and me? The next time you go to the polls, the vote you cast may just cost us more in higher taxes and fees. Don't be fooled by bogus campaign promises. Judge a candidate by the votes they cast. If you want lower taxes, vote for the candidate who walks the walk.
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