The Roswell City Council’s vote last Monday against cutting city property taxes was not just a vote for higher taxes, it was a vote for bigger government.
Government runs on taxes like motors run on gasoline. If you want to reduce the speed of your car, you can push down on the brake or let up on the gas pedal.
Last year, when I tried to put the brakes on Roswell’s city government by cutting expenses, the City Council voted me down, so this year I tried lowering taxes to slow down expenditures.
I hoped the City Council would support a tax reduction. Increased city revenues allowed me to propose a balanced budget for the coming year that covers all maintenance recommended by staff, reduces taxes by $500,000 and still leaves $575,000 for Council to spend on resurfacing streets and other programs.
If the Council wants to spend more, we are expecting another $2 million to $3 million will be available later this year because of expected savings from the current year’s budget. If that’s not enough, the city has $26 million in reserves, more than enough to cover any capital projects the Council may vote to add and all contingencies.
I was wrong. Only Council member Betty Price supports lowering taxes. Although the Council can maintain current city services, balance the budget, and cut taxes, they don’t want to give up the $500,000 they would lose if we give Roswell taxpayers a break this year.
Hopefully, before June 1 when the City Council takes final vote on the budget, they will hear from Roswell’s taxpayers.