Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Many thanks

Yesterday's election has had me a bit distracted for the past week, but I am now breathing again, after Lincoln voters decisively approved a three year increase of a quarter-cent to the City sales tax to fund replacement of our aging radio system and four new facilities for fire and police personnel.

Many thanks are due to the committee of citizens who studied these proposals and weighed the funding options, presenting this recommendation to the Mayor late last year, and to the Mayor and City Council, who unanimously supported this effort. Thanks, also, to the police, fire, and 911 personnel who have worked for several years planning these much needed projects.

But the thanks especially is due to the citizens of Lincoln, who voted themselves a tax increase. Even though the amount sounds small, that's never an easy thing to do. The wisdom of this plan was understood by our citizens, whose vote for the ballot issue I also interpret as a vote of confidence for our public safety agencies.

You have my pledge that we will do our best to be good stewards of the funds you have entrusted us with for these projects.


Anonymous said...

Some of the thanks goes to you too for intelligently soliciting input, finding a solution and clearly explaining your direction and reasoning. Mighty fine leadership that would go a long way if we could persuade you to run for Mayor in 4 years.

Anonymous said...

T.C. for Mayor in 4 years, you have my vote

Anonymous said...

I voted no. Poor planning years ago and we pay the price now. Wheel Tax up %37 and the roads do not seem to be getting better. Arena Tax, Wheel Tax, Now a radio/fire station tax. I'm sure in three years there will be an excuse for why we cant get rid of the radio tax. Taxed to disgust. Only 21,000 people of this city of 268,000 ish voted for it. Yeah I know have to vote if you want a voice. Still, Enough already!

Anonymous said...

Simple fact is that there is no way you can save up money for large projects. Politicians and citizens would accuse you of hoarding or complain taxes/fees are too high or you'd have to shred some other portion of the budget to sustain the fund for these big projects. Pay as you go with a sales tax that is paid by everyone who spends money in Lincoln is a good solution.

Tom Casady said...

Another factor people seem to forget is the economic crisis city and state governments experienced in the wake of 9/11, culminating with the financial crises in 2008. Lincoln is now emerging from a decade of very lean years, in which we have been facing multi-million dollar budget shortfalls that required some significant cuts to personnel and services. Scores of positions were axed to deal with these shortfalls.

Lincoln wasn't alone, in fact it was much worse in most cities. It has improved considerably in the past two budget cycles, and this fiscal year, the city has actually been able to add some positions. There are four new police officers in the current biennial budget, for example. As sales tax revenues continue to rebound, and the nation's financial sector continues to improve, I'm seeing a glimmer of light that was missing for a decade.

When you're clawing your way out of the deepest financial crises since the Great Depression of the 1930s, it's not a great time to try to salt away millions of tax dollars in a savings account for the future.

Anonymous said...

9:17 You also need to review your property tax statement and see where it gets divided.