One of the city commissioners uttered the words income tax increase at the last city commission meeting. Increasing taxes would seem to be the least painful way of getting out of the financial predicament the city has gotten itself into. Any more employment cuts could seriously impede the government’s functions. But then again, I don’t want to pass a tax increase with the assumption that the city is going to do all the projects on the waiting list only for the city to double cross the taxpayers by relocating City Hall with the money.
It is evident that that the city cannot move City Hall without some kind of tax increase. The increase could be done in the form of an income tax hike or a back door approach with a special levy for fire and police, so more money can be made available to the general fund. The decision about what to do with City Hall needs to be made sooner rather than later. The building needs attention and the long range plans need to get started. The city can remodel office by office by planning the budget each year to accommodate the expense. If the city had started the remodeling years ago, the remodeling would be done by now. Good budget planning would mean that the city wouldn’t have to go into debt with the remodeling project.
People say that Sandusky needs a vision and development which may be so, but the vision always involves the taxpayer footing the entire bill right into more debt. Detroit had a vision and its vision drove it to bankruptcy. The city has no business asking the taxpayer for more money only to spend it on moving City Hall while other projects continually get delayed for years. Do the citizens need more debt piled on them when we should be trying to eliminate debt? None of the commissioners are even planning on reducing our debt; they'd rather take on more debt. If the city doesn’t have any sense, maybe it is up to the taxpayer to tell the city that it needs to stop running up more debt. The taxpayers are stretching their budgets and the city is no different.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a tax increase on the ballot in the near future because the push to move City Hall is so great. The downtown people have a wish list of projects and the taxpayers get to pick up the expense and make their dreams come true.
Until next week, it is time for the city to admit to the real reason they need a tax increase. The city needs to stop flimflamming us by taking care of our most urgent needs instead of dreaming up pie-in-the-sky projects, which will only accumulate more debt for the city. Continuing to talk about moving City Hall does not help to understand the justification of where we are in the budget and the tremendous debt load that is bearing down on us.