Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Budget Smackdown

Regular readers of this blog have probably followed the story of the Henry administration trying to retroactively change the budget and increase property taxes by roughly 4%. They are doing this to try and offset some of the revenue losses that will be generated when the state legislature passes HB1001 or some equivalent - i.e. the governor's bill to cap property taxes at 1% among other things.

Today, councilmen Mitch Harper and Tom Smith held a press conference to give that idea (and the city controller) a public smackdown. You can see the remarks from both Harper and Smith below (again sorry for the shaky video). Before I delve into the politics of this I want to point out that Smith discusses some excellent ideas on how the city could go about using citizen input to help control government costs. The rest of the council and the administration would be wise to at least follow up on his ideas.

I expect this issue to get some discussion and debate at tomorrow's council meeting but why hold a press conference? Well, the Republican councilmembers haven't gotten the best press lately and this is probably a way for them to try and turn the tables a little bit and show the Democrats, including the administration, that they are willing to play politics if that's what it takes. In other words, this is probably a little retribution for Pape leading the charge against the illegal caucus held by the Republican majority.

I'm not suggesting that what Harper and Smith were talking about isn't substantive - it is. I'm merely pointing out that there's more than meets the eye regarding this press conference. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in tomorrow's council meeting...


Kevin said...

Jeff, I am NOT a fan of propety taxes, but I actually support this proposal by the Henry administration.

This morning's JG has a good article on this topic- We are looking at 2 choices- Increase the levy, or cut services.

I know, I know....everyone will say "cut services". Until THEIR ox gets gored. Then they will as "WHY?"

Kevin said...

as = ask

Should have read that BEFORE I posted!

Jeff Pruitt said...

We're in agreement Kevin.

I spoke out against the original levy reduction before council and on this blog...