City Council Approves Property Tax Cut - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/7/03

City Council Approves Property Tax Cut

Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez, Frank Morrison, and T.J. Patterson didn't support a property tax cut for two main reasons. First, losing a little more than $1 million would affect city services. Second, losing those services isn't worth the savings of $15 a year for the average Lubbock County homeowner.

It didn't take long before the pleading began. Councilman Patterson tried to persuade the council, tax cuts would be detrimental to his district. "Everytime there are cuts, my district is the first to feel it. Please, let the process play out itself and then let's make a decision," said Patterson to the council.

The discusion took off from there. Councilmen were interrupting one another to get a word in edgewise. It happened more than one time.

A majority of the council discussed how the $7 million non-transfer from Lubbock Power & Light has already put the city in a financial crunch. The city's already cut the spending budget this year including 25 jobs in different departments with more on the way.

That's what scares Lupe Stockhousen the most. She says Saturday Citibus service was cut and a park near her is on a waiting list for new equipment. Services that she says should be a priority over tax cuts.

"Well, if they don't have the money to take care of our children our parks, our transportation then why are they trying to cut back?" she told NewsChannel 11.

But she would never get a chance to tell that to the council Monday. The resolution was voted on without an open discussion from the public. "Can I see a hand count? Motion carries four to three," said the Mayor as he's asking for votes.

As soon as the vote showed four councilmen in favor of the tax cuts, people who were against it walked out shaking their heads and giving a thumbs down.

But Boren says the tax break is to take the burden of misguided spending done within the city's organization and that's it's not fair for the citizen's to pay for the city's mistake. "We're going to deal with these issues through streamlining cutting expenses and there will be revenue through growth and new construction."

He also said the tax cut would not take away money from the City of Lubbock or hurt city services. His thought is quote "If the city can't be faithful with the money they have, then why give it more?"

The tax cuts are expected to happen around the end of summer.

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