City Deals with Handful of Tax Related Issues - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/17/02

City Deals with Handful of Tax Related Issues

Big decisions are being made on how the city will spend your tax dollars. On Tuesday, three tax related stories are making waves within the walls of City Hall.

  • A decision to wait. City Manager Bob Cass puts the breaks on one project.
  • Budget cuts. Cass says the city could be in a jam if sales tax revenue doesn't increase soon.
  • A lack of communication. The city council says it wants to be in the loop from now on when it comes to how Market Lubbock Inc. spends money.

Cass says now's not the time to move forward with a proposed compost project north of town. Cass says the project needs more analysis, so he plans to recommend that city council postpone the project for now. The compost facility would have blended treated human waste with wood chips. It would have been located at the Old Lubbock Landfill. At a town hall style meeting in September, residents who live near the old landfill told Cass they were concerned the operation might cause a lingering odor and possibly decrease their property values. Cass says the city might pursue the idea in the future, but so far, no one has proven to his satisfaction that the operation is a financially responsible or neighborly.

In related news, the City of Lubbock will likely be forced to make some budget cuts in the near future as well. That's because city sales tax revenue in August, September and October of 2002 was lower than it was for the same three month period in 2001. Bob Cass says he doesn't want to alarm anyone, but this could be the beginning of a significant trend. Cass is asking city staff to look at possible ways to cut their budgets, and has instructed them to contemplate hiring freezes until further notice.

Finally, some Lubbock City Council members want to know why they weren't included in Market Lubbock Inc's decision to send money to a prospective new business in Plainview. Market Lubbock Inc has prepared a $250,000 incentive package for a cheese plant. It's part of Market Lubbock Inc's regional economic development strategy. Market Lubbock Inc says expanding growth outside the city still promotes a strong Lubbock economy.

City Council wants to meet with Market Lubbock Inc at the next council meeting about setting policies on regional economic growth. Mayor Marc McDougal says he supports what Market Lubbock Inc is doing, but he feels the council needs to be more involved.

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