Freeze Budgets for the Next Two Years
The tax increase that Council approved this year was completely unnecessary. As shown in figure 18 above, which was taken from the "Final-Reduced" budget on the city website - click here, Council approved two questionable budget increases; a 71.9% increase for the City Manager and a 52.8% increase for Transit Services. The total 2022 budget increase of the five departments shown in figure 18 was $1,057,241.
Although these figures are from the, "Final-Reduced" budget posted on the city website, the 2022 Budget Tally Sheet, in the same document shows the 2022 increase in the burden to taxpayers, of these five areas alone, to slightly less at $895,974. It's not clear which of these figures to believe. Regardless, these are still huge double-digit increases. Either way, had Council not approved these increases there would have been no need for a tax increase this year.
In other words in budget year 2022 there could have been a ZERO percent tax increase. To demonstrate that Council is serious about turning things around, Council needs declare that no department budget in either 2023 or 2024 can exceed that approved for 2022. In other words FREEZE budgets for two years.