City Hall’s ‘General Fund’ is like the huge maul of a monster – it devours taxpayers money and swallows it whole. Unless you take the difficult task of reaching down to the stomach, it is hard to find out where all this money goes. Presently the city is looking to add a surcharge on the already existing lodge and meals tax.
The idea is to diversify the income stream for the City’s budget. Right now, roughly 70% of revenue comes from property taxes. Great when there is a housing boom. Terrible if you’re in our present economic condition. If our property values hadn’t been buoyed up by our historic district, the city would be in terrible straights right now. That scary proposition is why the Mayor is pushing hard for paid parking and now the surcharge.
But picture an old Missouri jack ass. These beasts of burden are famous for their stubbornness. You can smack them with a two by four, yell at them, beat them and they’ll just stare at you. So the farmers have devised a now-legendary solution. Dangle some carrots on a long stick in front of the beast and away you go. Unfortunately, the jack ass never gets the carrot but the farmer gets what he wants.
Right now, the citizens of Newburyport are being treated like jack asses. Hopefully, enough of us are going to figure out that we’re not going to get the carrot.
The City Council, City Hall and the Mayor are mostly saying the same thing: “Approve these new revenue sources and some (notice the ‘some’) of the money will go toward infrastructure improvements. ‘Some’ of the money will go to promotions to attract more visitors to Newburyport. ‘Some’ of this money will go for sidewalks.
I think most of us are smarter than a jack ass! At the very least, we should dig our hooves into the ground and say, “Prove it”.
As it stands, this extra pressure on our community is going to end up in someone’s benefit package or a new raise or a pension plan or in some new ‘toy’ or ‘program’ for City Hall. What kind of benefits do we as citizens get if these inconveniences are imposed?
Again, I say prove it. I want it codified as to how much money goes into these promised ‘carrots!!!!!
If I don’t see it, I’m saying no….and you should too!