March 4, 2014

PUBLIC FORUM: Was the trash tax cut or just moved around?


---- — Was the trash tax cutor just moved around?

If was with self-congratulations that the Logansport City Council voted to eliminate the “trash tax” last fall; one of Mayor Franklin’s campaign pledges had been to do so. What wasn’t addressed at the time was how the money would be replaced. Now we know that it was a three-card Monte game; there was no elimination of the “Trash tax.” It was just rolled into your property taxes.

Using public data, let’s examine the property tax bills of the members of the city council and mayor. Due to an old age and veteran’s exemption, one city councilman will pay no property taxes in 2014; however, the rest will pay a total of $3,867 or an average of $552.43 per member. This compares to 2013 when those same seven people paid $2,962 or an average $423.14.

The difference works out to about $11 per month. Or about the same as the “trash tax.” It is admittedly a small sampling; there will be those who pay less than the “trash tax,” but some people will also pay more. The result in the increase in spending from the City’s General Fund is a 28 percent increase in our tax rate. Meaning, if your assessed value didn’t decrease, you can expect to see a spike in your property taxes. And, since this administration has no plan to replace the lost revenue, once all the cash on hand is spent, you can expect to see that “tax” reappear in the future. It’s hard to imagine that the average citizen of Logansport will notice any meaningful savings.

I will once again point out that in just two years these “fiscally conservative Republicans” have increased the city’s spending budget by 35 percent, with little to show for it. For all the consultants getting rich off of the city we’re no closer to a working replacement to the power plant. Small jobs gains have been made, but Logansport continues to trail both state and national averages for unemployment. It’s hard to see what the people are getting for that extra 35 percent.

It’s come to the point that this could be a form letter where I simply fill in the issue and data; it’s a foregone conclusion that whatever the issue this administration will employ an exercise in semantics to dodge it. The citizens of Logansport deserve better. We have real problems that require real solutions not sleight of hand.

Matt Meagher