In 2017, I wrote a letter titled, “How will the city deal with future shortfalls?” (Oct. 10, 2017).
The letter highlighted the need for options other than taxation and grants.
In a recent City Council meeting, it was stated that the city’s deficit for the last fiscal year was $225,000, the highest it has been while Mayor Carolyn McAdams has been in office.
The statement in itself is a tad bit inaccurate. In October 2017, a council meeting was held to discuss the 2018 fiscal year budget. A property tax increase of 4.1% was approved, which pushed the city budget from $11.7 million to $12.2 million. This increase in taxes created an additional $500,000 in the budget. This was also the amount that was taken out of the $2.7 million reserve fund to balance the 2017 budget.
For the 2018-19 budget, a tax increase was contemplated, but the council opted not to pursue it. However, for the 2019-20 budget, a 4% tax increase was approved again. The reasoning behind the increase was to purchase machinery for street repair and lawn beautification. It was also stated more money would have to be borrowed to fix issues in the city.
So I ask the question, When will the bleeding stop? The council is continuing to increase taxes on a dwindling population. The remedy for any problem has become to increase taxes or apply for a grant. Recently they have added a new wrinkle to the equation by going after the tax refunds of debtors.
Greenwood is the hub of the Delta. The surrounding area comes here for necessities, wants and entertainment. The city has to capitalize on it.
Commonwealth Editor Tim Kalich wrote an op-ed column stating change is hard (“I confess: Change is hard,” Dec. 28). I fully agree, but don’t let pride be our city’s demise.