Hold on to your wallets. The City Council and Mayor of St. Pete are up to their old games of using “public budget summits” as political cover to raise spending and taxes to record levels. Their allies, the “People’s Budget Review” put out robocalls this week asking people to attend to let “the city know which projects they should fund” (not what spending to cut or taxes to lower). These summits have been going on for a couple of years now as a means of bringing out large groups of political activists, liberals and unions to demand more spending by the city (you know, like from the “People’s Republic of XYZ”). The result from previous years: tax hikes and utility bill hikes. Last year the taxes and utility bills were raised $10 million.
St. Petersburg Faux “Public Budget Summits” – Political Cover to Raise Taxes
COME OUT AND SPEAK UP TO STOP THE TAX HIKE AND SPENDING MADNESS!
April 23, at 6 p.m., Walter Fuller Recreation Center, 7891 26th Ave. N.
May 14 at 6 p.m., Wildwood Recreation Center, 1000 28th St S
June 18 at 6 p.m., Willis S. Johns Recreation Center, 6635 Dr Martin Luther King Jr St N
Citizens of St. Petersburg are encouraged to show up at these public budget summits starting today, April 23. If residents turn up earlier at these so called “summits”, the City Council may be influenced to actually cut taxes and spending this year. The schedule for the upcoming summits is printed above. As a reminder, here are some graphics and tables detailing the city’s drunken spending binge paid for by your utility bills and taxes.
City Spending facts ($468.8 million in 2012)
City Taxation ($451 million in 2012)
– The city government costs a family of four and EXTRA $1,500 since 2001 (with 3,500 fewer residents and 365 fewer workers!)
– $51.9 million in deficit spending in the last two years.
– $325 million total unfunded liability for city employee retirement benefits.
-zero dollars saved for employee retiree health benefits
-city workers make more than three times the median income of individual city residents ($75K vs. $25k)
-Retiree health benefits are being paid for by extra taxes on citizens every year – not retirement savings.
-family members of city workers have 75% of of their health insurance paid for by taxpayers.
-the City has built up $80 million in EXCESS reserves beyond what is legally required to meet obligations – The city is saving your money instead of you!
-crony capitalists get your money to spend on their profit generating enterprises.
St. Pete is on the road to Bankruptcy like Detroit.
-The City government of St. Pete wants to raise utility bills $7 million next year – again.
-The City government of St. Pete wants to raise property taxes $3million next year – again.
-The city has raised utility bills $12-25million every year since 2003.
-The city raised property taxes $10 million last year.
-cutting the millage rate is not the same as cutting actual property taxes you pay (if home values go up).
-When property tax revenues dipped in 2008, the city simply raised rates and taxes on utility bills, fees and fines.
-The city is bringing in over a million a year from red light cameras that only cause INCREASED car accidents.
Taxes and fees are draining money from the REAL economy and hurting the poor and middle class.