Council has been debating on how to spend roughly 44 million they have found for non-residential tax relief. Reportedly if the whole amount was spent to reduce taxes, then the increase would be zero. However, they are looking at having an increase capped at 10% with 14 million of the funds and the remaining 30 million used to more targeted relief to specific businesses. While this sounds good on the surface, it certainly allows for a lot of political shenanigans with regard to who gets the relief and who doesn't. Unsurprising in an election year. On another level, the city is trying to capture and entice new business to the city, both small and large. Would you invest in a business in the city if you knew your taxes were likely to increase by a "capped" 10% each year?
Council will debate the matter at a meeting on March 22, so we'll see what comes of it. But here's the kicker, the 44 million represents roughly 1% of the total city annual expenditures, give or take. If we spent 1% less, we wouldn't have to pull money from special funds or increase non-residential taxes at all. It would also demonstrate good management and financial stability, keys to attracting investment. Just a thought.
For reference you can read the Herald article here: