The school override was voted down by two-thirds of Page’s property taxpayers and yet our City Manager Rick Olson continues his requests to city council to impose a property tax in June 2013.
Mr. Olson’s statement in the “no” vote for school override Chronicle article was, “The question we will have to ask voters is, ‘Do you want to pay for what you bought?’”
Mr. Olson is trying to avoid the real question, which is, “Did the citizens really buy something or did the city council decide to purchase something with taxpayer money?”
And is Mr. Olson really listening to the voters? We as citizens, should have our voices heard through a vote on whether an additional property tax should be approved or not.
All of our elected officials from mayor to city council in the last 20 years have the responsibility and obligation to know what bonds have been issued and the amount of each one, as well as what payments have been made on principal and interest, and the balance due.
In addition, their responsibilities to the citizens of Page include understanding the city’s finances and applying prudent oversight and management.
Our officials’ behavior of bond repayment, surprise at the impact of their actions, lack of financial understanding and the outright continued requests/plans to tax the Page citizens for their mismanagement is completely unacceptable. We deserve a high level of fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency from the mayor, city council and all city officials.
Page has one of the highest tax rates among a majority of cities, at 10.725 percent. Add to that burden the bond debt and taxes on water, sewer and garbage (otherwise known as “debt service”), we pay some of the highest taxes of cities across our country.
Why are our tax dollars being mismanaged? For example, the land sale to Wal-Mart produced $400,000 in revenue; why has that not been applied to pay down the principal bond debt? Why are our officials not negotiating with development to pay their fair share versus continuing to add to the burden of taxpayers?
Those are some of many questions that we as citizens need to continue to bring forward and hold our elected officials accountable.
“We the people” need to understand what is happening in our town and how our tax dollars are being spent, and work together to hold city officials accountable and not allow them to ignore us and our vote. Attend city council meetings and get involved. We need every one of us to make a positive difference in Page.
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