by Christine Keller
A meeting of theFayetteville City Council will be held on Tuesday, December 6, 2011, at 6:00p.m. in Room 219 of the CityAdministration Buildinglocated at 113 WestMountain Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas. (Agendaattached)
You will recall that back inOctober, we opposed Fayetteville’sproposed continuation of the one-cent sales tax. At the time, we made thepoint that it is common liberal practice to insist that if we don’tgive government more money, either with debt or with taxes, ”the sky willfall.” In this case, they were going to close a fire station and lay off policeand firemen if we didn’t agree to pay that tax, even in a down economy.
Some of you may recall that the same week that the special election washeld (October 11, 2011), the City sent out a press release announcing free trees forFayetteville residents, to be given away that Saturday, paid for out of thesales tax fund! The cost was a little less than $8,000, whichsupporters will claim is a small amount compared to the total budget, but thepoint is the whole mindset that taxes must be paid, not for necessities, but sothe government can provide things for people. Once you accept thatpremise, there is no limit to what government “should” and will do.
So, it came as no surprise to uswhen, barely a month later, Fayetteville’s city council is proposing a newbudget for 2012 with increased spending over last year and all sorts of goodiesthrown in. They are hinting at raises for employees, too! Here’s aquote from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (NWA edition), November 20, 2011: [Among proposedbudget items:] “$337,000 for material purchases at the FayettevillePublic Library and $216,000 for development of a regional park in southwest Fayetteville. Sarah Lewis,Ward 4 alderwoman, said she wants to increase the $200,000 budgeted forstormwater drainage improvement.” Things like parks and new librarymaterials are wonderful things, but not when we are broke, overspending, andovertaxed!
Then there is this rich quote:“Next year’s increase is because predicted sales tax growth of more than $1million, said PaulBecker, financedirector…“Generally, things are getting a little better,” he said. “The cityand the economy are picking up a little bit…” Excuse me? Isn’t thisthe same city council that was claiming they were going to close a fire stationif their tax didn’t pass? The City of Fayetteville apparently lives in afishbowl world where they can simply demand your tax dollars by force,threatening you with cutting necessities if you don’t, and then proclaim thattheir economic situation is better now so they can spend, spend, spend! Whatabout the taxpayers who are taxed enough already?
But wait; there’s more! According to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article, “Even with more money tospend, Jordan’sadministration proposed a budget that requires dipping into reserve.” What? Even with the continuance of the sunsetted one-cent tax, they areeating into reserves, to the tune of just slightly under half a million dollars,in order to cover this bigger budget.
As we recently reported to you,the same city council had an agenda item in November about issuing bonds tocover construction costs for a new parking facility. There is nosense at all that the financial situation everywhere is dire, and spendinghas to be CUT!
Especially if you live in Fayetteville, it would be good to have somepeople there speaking up. If you have friends in Fayetteville, forward the information tothem. It sounds foreign to too many people, but the taxing and especiallythe spending MUST STOP! More taxes simply empower government to spend andcontrol us. We have our work cut out for us trying to educate a publicthat seems unconcerned about the loss of freedom due to overtaxing andoverspending by all levels of government.