Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tracy Warner Weighs in on Property Tax Increase

Tracy Warner has a column in today's JG where he takes the same position I have over the Henry administration's property tax proposal. Specifically, he discusses the political problems I wrote about last weekend:
From a fiscal government standpoint, Mayor Tom Henry’s request for the City Council to restore $3.7 million it cut last fall from the proposed 2008 budget is sound.

But from a political viewpoint, the new mayor is essentially asking for authority to raise property taxes by $3.7 million as one of his first policy initiatives, a move few voters are likely to support and one that will undoubtedly face intense City Council scrutiny.

...beginning his administration with a proposal to raise property taxes could well set the wrong tone if popularity matters to the mayor.

It had better matter to the mayor. The reason mayor Richard was able to steamroll Harrison Square through the council is due in part to the rapport he had built with the councilmembers, the business community and the citizenry. Mayor Henry doesn't have that yet and hopefully his department staff realizes that they're not still in the Richard administration. It's one thing to hit the ground running but it's another to just hit the ground with a thud...

2 comments:

dan said...

It would seem a prudent course of action would be to create a contingency plan--seems I saw that idea somewhere already, and use the public input process on the use of the Utilities Surplus Fund to double up as input for this and still other possible ideas. Time favors this since the Legislature will deliberate and make changes.

In fact, the City of Fort Wayne's Lobbyist in Indy should be weighing in as an advocate for FW at the State Capitol as we speak. His effectiveness is diminished with a tax increase proposal to cover the current tax gap on the table locally.

Robert Enders said...

The best time to do things that you know the public will hate is in your first year in office. Voters have short memories.