Over $100 million in unfunded pensions. $35 million for Rio de Flag with a recommended stormwater fee payment of $1,100 per average house. Parks and Recreation sales tax increase proposal of 0.125 percent for $56 million in projects. Extension of the transportation tax that doesn't expire until 2020 of 0.426% (and yes, a tax renewal is a new tax or it wouldn't be on the ballot). Oh, and we increased sales taxes in 2014 by 0.63% (city and county) for road repairs.
Almost no new sales taxes ever expire when promised. And they always sell it with, "It's only $x.xx per $100." Our current sales tax is 8.951 percent on most retail goods and 10.951 percent for eating out. If these tax increases pass, I will not buy any big ticket items in Flagstaff.
The road repairs budget was not properly funded. The Rio project has been out there for years, but now it's critical. And the underfunded pension is simply irresponsible. Makes me wonder what is going on at City Hall. I think an independent audit is in order as there seems to be too many surprises.
Our hotel tax could easily go up 3 percentage points for stays less than 30 days and, unlike the restaurant tax, it would only impact tourists. Council and staff need to come up with some creative ways to finance these items without always going to the sales tax trough, which disproportionally impacts the poor and those on fixed incomes.