Wednesday, November 30, 2011

UNT Tax Hike

Had a few readers request a reference to the Express-Times article indicating that UNT will be increasing taxes by 83% (read it here).

A defense of the hike noted in the article is the fact that it is only the 2nd tax increase in 20 years, the last was in 2005. I find this is typical of municipal government, they try very hard to hold the line, but hit a point where a hike is necessary. This is unlike the School systems that take 3-5% per year, or more if they can, whether they currently 'need' the money or not. By this I look at NASD which raised taxes one year to grow the base so the following year's increase would bring in more tax revenue even through they didn't need the full amount of the first hike to balance the budget.

The article states that over the past four years UNT has taken $1M out of savings to cover budget gaps. 

I don't take issue with trying to hold the line, but I do with a lack of thinking ahead. In this instance a few more modest increases wouldn't have cost anyone an election and were apparently needed to provide the level of service expected/delivered by the township.

More bothersome is the argument that an exploding population is to blame. Who approved the housing? The Township.

Worse yet, a part of the excess population was due to a zoning exception to allow more homes in exchange for the donation of land and creation of a park (Tuskes aka Payoff Park). Now an additional cost is maintenance of said park. The Township should be charging Tuskes a fee for having their name on the park as a sponsorship to off-set maintenance, instead they are nearly doubling the tax paid by residents.

For the record, I am not outraged by this action, I do not live in UNT, but I do find myself mystified by the short-sightedness sometimes exhibited by elected officials.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

2 comments:

Brad Moulton said...

Ross-

I find it telling that you have to state "for the record" that you are not irate about this...

NewsOverCoffee said...

I wouldn't say I had to...must be the wiseacre in me that also is reinforcing that while I can't win in ink, I'm going to bring it up repeatedly to make my point clear.

Plus, articulating what my emotion is not ought to cut down on calls and emails from reporters;-)

Hope all has been well for you and your family!