City Council disagrees on budget issues that could mean a tax hike - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/6/09

City Council disagrees on budget issues that could mean a tax hike

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Mayor Tom Martin Mayor Tom Martin

By Brittany Pieper  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Right now, the proposed City of Lubbock budget for the next fiscal year has no tax increase and no raises for city employees - but that may not be final.

The hot button issue in the budget is police pay raises. In May, every City Council member said they supported a pay raise for police, but a resolution does not mean much if it isn't backed up with action.

At the same meeting that the council passed the police pay resolution, Mayor Tom Martin said, "Those of you that are just itching to raise the property tax rates, you can just forget about it. We're not going to do it."

After looking at the proposed budget, which does not include a raise, Martin said, "Everybody is sympathetic with the need for increased police pay, but it's a matter of economics. And with the current state of the economy, it's probably not the time to be looking at increases."

However, at least two council members, Todd Klein and Floyd Price, disagree. "When you make promises it shouldn't be just some idea. It should be concrete, and so yes, we made the promise. We're going to work to find it, and we have to let the public know that it's going to cost something," said Price. 

Klein estimates it would cost the average home owner about $5 a year to provide police a raise of 1-3% a year. A small increase he says he would consider, "I don't believe in being ideologically rigid and being blind to the real world circumstances that we're facing."

Also supporting a small increase, Price said, "I think there should be a small increase. There has got to be if we want to continue to operate and be successful."

The city manager will present the early, rough draft at the City Council meeting on Wednesday.

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5/14/09
Lubbock City Council approves resolution to raise police pay
Thursday the Lubbock City Council approved a resolution to increase police pay, but it's not clear where the needed money will come from.

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