To the editor:
So, the city would like to create another rate supported entity, a stormwater user fee that will pay for current and future activities related to storm sewers, ditches, catch basins, the Boulevard Lake dam, etc.
It is clear to me that the intention of the current process. The stormwater financing study is to arrive at the conclusion that the most logical, equitable and sustainable means to this end is a stormwater user fee.
The problem I have with removing the funding for this from property taxes is that it will become less transparent to the taxpayer. Who among us thinks a property tax reduction will equal the amount collected for stormwater management? It has been abundantly clear to me over the past 20 years it has been far too easy for council to approve rate supported budgets and even easier for administration to spend such funds.
I don’t think we should allow any increase to any funding, be it tax-supported or rate supported until this city undergoes an independent review of what we currently spend, why we spend it and whether we should spend it, with an eye on efficiency and service delivery by cost-competitive means.
Our combined property taxes and user fees, despite any claims to the contrary or statistical cherry picking, are becoming ridiculous.