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Comments about ‘John Florez: City Council wants us to pay the tab’

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Published: Saturday, June 8 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

John wrote an excellent article that accurately summarized local governments.

The same "disease" has attacked the city council in the city were I live. A neighbor worked for the city a few years ago. When she worked for the city, there were just a few employees. Then things changed. Suddenly, we had to have fourteen policemen in a city that had no crime. Revenues to the city went up when those fourteen policemen wrote an average of ten tickets per day. A new city hall was constructed. When my neighbor saw the direction that the city was going, she quit her job. She said that she would not be part of a local government that had decided to prey upon the citizens that it "served".

Preyed upon. When government becomes the "predator" and we become the "meal", we are all in trouble.

One Utah Taxpayer
Kearns, UT

Mike,

Your comments are spot on. So the question remains what causes the disease? We see the outcomes. I posit that the tax structure cities have imposed on them is a big part of the culprit.

1. When a city imposes a tax to raise $2,000,000 for example. A tax rate is calculated between the assessed value of the real property and $2,000,000 and a "levy" is imposed. Say .00030. Take the tax rate times your value and there is your "portion" of the tax.

2. The only way a city can "grow" revenue is through sales tax and fees and fines, meaning recruiting business, offering incentives with quick pay back, storm water fees, and citations, etc.

When an economy shrinks, sales tax revenues shrink and property tax increases become the norm to "maintain level of services."

Lastly, the base assumption of "typical" residents are I want the service, and since most tax is NOT transparent, these residents believe "someone else" is paying for it.

My former city didn't plow residential streets which is a service I want and I think everyone should "chip in." We all have something we think gov't should do.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

I think john lives in a different Salt Lake City then I do. The new parking meters in my city make it far more convinent to park, no more fumbling for change and rushing in and out because I could only find a Nicole in the ash tray. City streets that are scaled to the neighborhoods they serve instead of designed for a full of team of horses to do a u turn. Inviting venues and open spaces condusive to an active and rich cultural life. Buildings and transportation options that are responsive to the reality that airr quilts is an issue when you live in a mountain valley, this the salt lake i live i n. There is a reason the mayor has no serious challengers come election time, he reflects the values of the vast majority of salt lake residents.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

Nicke sorry

Blue
Salt Lake City, UT

Wait a minute.

You're looking at the current condition of Salt Lake City's streets, sidewalks, trees, parks, etc. and saying the city _doesn't_ need to spend more money fixing all that's broken?

The city is in constant financial stress because that's the way the state legislature likes it.

Strider303
Salt Lake City, UT

Government sometimes puts so much emphasis on the "future" that it stumbles over the present. Nobody holds a gala at a street re-paving, or storm drain replacement so these items get pushed to the back burner. People do get press for new arts complexes, malls (bribed into town with tax deferments) and the like.

Those who run for office and win and climb the ranks, or have that "lean and hungry look" see themselves as a cut above the every day common riffraff that occupy the particular city they hold office. It is boring to perform the humdrum monotonous duty of keeping the city running and on an even keel. Hence the search for challenges to "improve" the city in their eyes and it is also nice to have your name on the bronze plaque near the main entrance.

elections do matter. These are the people who ran and we elected. Remember, they are doing this because it is for our own good.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

I'm from Bountiful, and this is a Salt Lake issue, but I have to say I couldn't agree more. There is a lot to be said for keeping taxes low and living within your means.

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