The City of St. Petersburg is itching to raise taxes. They have a nice political cheerleading squad helping them do it: Times, People’s Budget Review and now Occupy St. Pete. Today, on their Facebook Page, the Occupy St. Pete group called for their members to turn out to speak up for tax hikes to avoid “Austerity”. Occupy St. Pete should learn a fact of life: increased taxes cause austerity. Lowering taxes causes prosperity. However, Occupy has a world view that a sort of faux “prosperity” can be created by taxing people to redistribute the wealth through bloated governments. They forget that removing dollar from the economy through taxes cause job loss, less prosperity, less financial empowerment of individuals and less charity. If you want the city to raise taxes, do nothing. They are on their way to doing so. If you want your taxes to go down, you will need to speak up a these budget meetings. (SEE DETAILS ON LOCATIONS AND TIMES TOMORROW at Roberts Rec Center 6 pm, 1246 50th Ave. N.).
Here are some points and facts to remember when testifying:
- Citizens don’t have a well organized effort lead by CONA, the Sierra Club, the SEIU and the Liberal League of Women’s voters to agitate for cuts in spending like they advocate for tax hikes.
- Citizens expect the government to tighten its belt when the citizens are doing more with less as well.
- The economy can’t take the hit of another $15 million sucked out of it and given to the government to waste.
- The People’s Budget Review Survey consists of biased questions designed to promote increased taxation.
- Fees and Fines have increased over the last several years.
- City employees and their family members pay only 25% of their own health insurance costs. 75% of the cost of FAMILY MEMBERS is paid for by you, the taxpayer. Does anyone else pay for YOUR family’s health insurance cost?
- Retired workers are receiving $177 million in health insurance money to pay 75% of their insurance AND 75% of their family members insurance.
- City Employees have an average salary and benefit cost of about $74,000. The typical citizen of ST. Petersburg has an income of about $24,900.
- The city has wasted money on SRI, a group that received about $5 million to produce jobs. However, the numbers of jobs promised have yet to be created.
- The city is about to force taxpayers to borrow $50 million to build a new pier that amounts to a looping sidewalk and a concrete wall.
- The City had NEVER worked to return massive tax “surpluses” to the citizens when it could from 2000-2011. (Property taxes are down to about 2003 levels now).
- The city has continuously raised water, sewage and garbage fees.
- The city total spending has gone up nearly every year since 2001. Spending is out of control.
- The city REFUSES to work to renegotiate defined benefit Pension plans for its workers to a more sustainable 401K plan.
- The city keeps wasting money on double wide sidewalks, raising curbs up instead of properly paving roads in the first place, bus stop “improvements”.
- City Council members are cheerleading for a $133 million sales tax hike to build a train to nowhere for PSTA.
- The list goes on and on and are detailed here on “St. Peterbsurg Tax Stories“.
Come and testify at the next meetings
Tax and Fee hikes for 2011-2012 local government budgets.
Prepared for more? If not, stand up and say no!
Meanwhile, on the home front, libraries, parks, police station construction and basic government services suffer while government employee benefits stay up and paid!