Letter: I definitely ‘astutely follow the workings of my local government’

Editor:

Dan Engler should get his facts straight before he editorializes: “City’s sales tax debate becomes theater of unexpected.”

In fact I think I do “... astutely follow the workings of my local government and have a keen understanding of the fiscal challenges confronting Cottonwood City Hall.”

At a February city council work session I proposed the idea of an increase to the city sales tax to build reserves, perform deferred maintenance and pay down liabilities all of which are desperately needed due to belt tightening measures instituted as a result of the recession of 2008.

At 3 percent, Cottonwood’s city tax is the same as Clarkdale’s and lower than that of Camp Verde, Jerome and Sedona.

Additionally all of these towns except Cottonwood have a city property tax -- either general or special district -- to help them fund city services.

I told the council at that February work session that I was amazed that the city had done as well as it had for the last decade and that an increase in the sales tax rate was a no brainer to me.

In fact, in my opinion, is that it is fiscally irresponsible not to increase the sales tax rate.

Since then I have written to our mayor and council members and attended work sessions to advocate for an increase to the sales tax rate because the city is vulnerable to another economic downturn without a sales tax increase to fund reserves, infrastructure and pay down liabilities like the unfunded pension liabilities that are being passed on to towns by the state at the same time the state is reducing its funding to local cities.

Terri Clements

Cottonwood

Comments

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VerdeVillage 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Crying wolf again? This sounds like a taxpayer snow job. The pay is not the issue; it is the extreme shortage of police officers in the entire state where jobs go unfilled everyday in every city and town in Arizona. Do you really think $92,039 a year in salary w/beneifts for a small City like Cottonwood with less than 12,000 people earning an avg. $19,914 year income isn't enough to pay a new Cottonwood police officer? In the 2018 Cottonwood Budget, the amt. allocated to hire a police officer. "Classification 22; $50,021 salary + $42,018 benefits." Also the older police officers' pay ranges were increased: "There were 12 reclassification requests made and 9 were approved. It involves an allocation of $6,462 to upgrade some ranges in the Police Department; so these positions remain competitive in the job market." The police dept. budget jumped more than 12% from 2017-2018.

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