Tuesday, February 26, 2008

my address to city council

Screw the little guy !! after all if they default on their taxes because of over inflated property values then the city can seize the property for non payment

I appreciate the opportunity to speak in front of the city council on an issue which I and many others feel have repercussions into the next generation of taxpayers. I firmly believe that the area outlined in the Commercial Street TiF commission report needs to undergo redevelopment, but at what cost ?

It appears the school board would like to see bonds issued to pay for this to speed up the process which will allow for the schools to reap the benefits of an area with higher taxation rates and much higher property taxation levels. In essence what could transpire is that through government involvement people could lose their property because of the forced increase in property values. To artificially inflate property values to create commerce in an area where the businesses themselves do minimal advertising shouldn’t be compliant upon the taxpayers of Springfield to write off these possible business losses.

The city of Springfield continues to spend in areas which have NO relevance to projected revenues. The past few years have been quite challenging to Springfield. Consumer cost have sky rocketed which in turn increases revenues for the city, however the dilemma remains that the surrounding areas are developing and with this development creates a tax void for this city. Springfield is beginning to experience that shoppers from the surrounding areas NO longer have to drive here to meet their consumer needs and the internet also impacts the revenue structure of this city.

The elected and selected leaders of this city seem to believe that revenues into the area are an unlimited source and will increase exponentially with every development, but this is a fallacy that can be easily dispelled by looking at the amount of office space not leased throughout this city and to the current financial problems that need to be fixed. Development can bring many facets of economic gain into the area as long as the revenues received are properly managed and as long as the figures of this economic gain are not spent based on assumptions of greater projected revenues then what are actually received. It wasn’t that long ago that many on this very council scoffed at the cost of an $80,000 state audit of the books and yet unnecessary expenditures such as the $20,000 for the Partnership for Sustainability, a $350,000 Tricycle Park, close to 3 million to redevelop a square that needs cosmetic surgery not a facelift, and to top of this list $575 million for the recently approved Capitol Improvements Project

The city through the use of infrastructure projects can control how an area develops and whether or not it is successful. Recently projects in this area have been undertaken by entities in the private sector, which goes to show the area can be redeveloped and made a viable portion of the city as the influx of more private money become available to the area. I commend those businesses that have invested their capitol into an area that has spent years being distressed, you have the spirit of the pioneers who settled in an area not knowing what to expect and they worked hard to provide a living for themselves and their families.

"The idea of entering public service as an elected official in order to limit the power of government, and maximize the freedom of individual citizens, is an obsolete concept." As said Henry Lamb and we see that currently in this area as well.

In closing I and the taxpayers of Springfield expect our elected and selected city leaders to manage tax revenues as if it were coming out of your very own wallets and checkbooks. Ask yourself if you had to pay for a project out of your own money would you do it ? If not then don’t force the rest of us to foot an expenditure that you yourself wouldn’t be willing to risk your money on.

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