Regarding letter to the editor “Our City is Worth More Than That”

By Jim Shelton | Apr 04, 2013

Editor:

Mr. Page writes again that it’s time for the citizens of Edmonds to “bite the bullet” – meaning pay more taxes so the city can spend more.

He states, similarly to his Dec. 2012 letter, “[the city has] been cutting back hiring and cutting services across the board to barely scrimp by.”

While that may be accurate for the last couple of years (and the mayor, city staff, and council deserve recognition for their fine effort in trimming this year’s budget), it hasn’t been the norm.

We are seeing this pressure on the budget today due to many years of overspending and expansion.

When all was glorious and housing was artificially booming (2004-2008), our city was increasing general fund expenditures on average seven percent per year (inflation was about three percent and the one percent cap on property tax increases firmly in place).

This was the time they (city government) should have been saving.  Even during the worst economic downturn in 80 years spending continued to go UP about three percent from 2008- 2010.

Is there any surprise that we’re now coming up short?

So everyone step up and pay more taxes (levies, metropolitan park district formation, higher TBD fees, etc.) so we can continue to support the expansion that occurred during the time we should have been building reserves.  That should bridge the gap until the economy gets better.

Then the city can expand more - more beloved parks, new roundabouts, new/improved city buildings, more wages and benefits to maintain it all), and not save for the next downturn after which we will be asked to pay more taxes and the cycle continues.

Citizens may very well need to duck their heads as the next tax bullet comes hurtling at them.

 

Jim Shelton

The letter Mr. Shelton refers to was printed online on 3/31 and is printed this week in the Edmonds Beacon. – Ed.

 

 

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