Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lake Worth - A House of Cards

Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax.
Spend, spend, spend, spend, spend

Comparing Last year's Budget Summary to this coming Year's
  • In looking over last years public notice Budget Summary, revenues are lower on last year's estimate. Ad valorem taxes are up this year. We are raising only a $million more from last year even though the special assessment is higher. We know that there have been multiple amendments to the Budget throughout the year and we have burned through our cash reserves. Where did all of these millions go?
  • Special Assessments, a new item on this year's summary, are projected to bring in revenue in the amount of $1,750,856. I am guessing that this is fire and street lights? Who knows, as they told us the fire pension special assessment was to raise $1.45 mil. Perhaps it is wrong as the city did not plan on garbage revenue staying the same.
  • Sales and Use taxes revenue will add $800,000, down from the projection from last year even though we just implemented a new Certificate of Use Tax that should bring in much, much more and we have many new businesses that have located to Lake Worth.
  • Overall, our expenses are up and our revenues are up. Where are the cuts in spending? The City has told us that overall, department by department, spending will be down 11% from the previous year.
Whatever you see in the newspaper public notice is an estimate of what we will get in revenues and what we will spend. It is seldom accurate.

Once a city special assesses to raise revenue, it would take nothing short of a miracle to erase that tax in future years. The City is doing everything possible to raise your taxes by coming in the back door. They want to assess everything and anything possible. That is the plan. I want the City to live within a budget just like we have to do without taking the easy way out--raise taxes.

Maybe we will luck out and all those six cities as well as Palm Beach State College will pay us the $10 mil plus that they owe for sewer once this audit is concluded. That should be any day now. Perhaps collections will force those deadbeat entities to pay what they owe on their utility bills such as the School Board. And what about all those code enforcement fines? The city can't continue to operate as a charity with the taxpayer picking up the tab that continues to grow.

Tonight's meeting is very important. It has everything to do with your future and your quality of life in Lake Worth. If you allow a special assessment, there is no turning back. You will be taxed unfairly forever.

No comments: