The admission tax increase would be an easy tax to pass since the money would come from the tourist. The problem would be getting the admissions tax on the ballot and deciding how much of an increase would be purposed. There needs to be a certain amount of dedication and organization to collecting signatures on a petition as to whether or not the petition drive would be successful.
A small increase in the admission tax would stabilize the budget, but it would not provide for a generous increase in revenue that the city needs for aggressive development to take place. More than doubling the admissions tax to 8 percent would be enough to move City Hall and take the burden off the taxpayer, but how much would be left over for other projects that are needed in the city?
One commissioner stated he didn’t care where City Hall would relocate. It seems that all the city is concerned with is getting the taxpayer off the valuable waterfront property no matter what it will cost the taxpayer. The talk about moving City Hall has gone on for years while repairs to the building are going unchecked because the city lacks the organization and funding for such a move to take place.
The city talks about a comprehensive plan for the whole city, which is nothing but a big stall until the city can convince the taxpayers it needs more money to move City Hall. Comprehensive plans and studies cost money. The plans are later found on a shelf somewhere gathering dust because it is too costly to implement the plans.
Remember when the city was trying to get the Eymann development up and running? The city is still trying to recover from the attempted development while other things got neglected along the way trying to make it all happen. It is bad timing to move City Hall in a recession environment. The city is $67 million in debt and no one is addressing the debt issue, all the commissioners want to do is add on more debt. Trying to sell the City Hall move and a tax increase at the same time should warrant concern with the taxpayer.
The city may have development plans on the table, but it needs more revenue to implement the ideas and the only thing holding the city back is the permission from the taxpayers to approve the funding.