Read the Eden Prairie Taxpayer's Alliance Nov 13th Commentary on Freezing City Spending.
At the sparsely-attended Truth in Taxation meeting at City Hall on Monday Night, a handout was provided that showed Eden Prairie home values have only gone down by .9% in the last year. Anybody who owns a home here knows that is incorrect. The evaluation at Zillow shows a 5.9% decrease in home values which certainly seems more in line with the prices homes are fetching on this part of town. We have homes sitting on the market in our neighborhood for 6+ months going through several price reductions before they're sold. Go to Edina Reality- look at the Property tax amounts on homes- and what they're selling for- you can see that many have been severely over-taxed based on what they're now able to fetch on the market.
Also at the Truth in Taxation meeting- there was a new business owner that had bought a commercial property in Eden Prairie- the previous property tax (before they purchased) was approximately $4,500- their new bill this year was almost $9,000 higher! City staff tried to say- perhaps the property has been improved, etc. It hadn't. The taxpayer just shook her head and walked away from the podium dejected. Why would ANYBODY want to start a business in Eden Prairie with stories like these?
Regardless of the property values, we're experiencing a severe economic downturn with some of America's largest businesses contemplating bankruptcy. Things are very uncertain. Companies are laying off employees or not providing raises or bonuses. People are are out work for long periods of time. The plumb mid-level management jobs are drying up. Why exactly is it that government employees should be the only ones immune to these realities? Freezing salaries (at least for management level and above) should be an absolute no-brainer. I'd take it a step further and look to combine more job responsibilities among staff and cut positions. Freezing new projects that we don't need (the Arts Center) should also be highly considered. It's a time for complete fiscal responsibility.
It's important to note that 25% of property taxes (from a median home) go to the City of Eden Prairie, while 33% go to the School District here and 34% go to Hennepin County. School board elections are this year with three seats to fill- we need fiscally conservtive citizens to run for these seats. And Hennepin County? That's a whole other animal- someone needs to run against lame Republican Randy Johnson who's been in office since Disco was king. The man quotes "Governing Magazine" in his bio!
At the state level, Republican Legislator Paul Kohls of Victoria is calling for a spending freeze in St. Paul. Here's his website-http://www.mnspendingfreeze.com/ sign the petition!
Doesn't it seem sometimes, that human nature is to wait until things "hit bottom" until a change is made? It shouldn't be this way, not for mature, reasonable adults. We need to be pro-active about reducing the size of government and trimming budgets, not wait until we have a revenue crisis.
This all makes perfect sense to me. Republicans are in the minority at the state and national levels. The public is going to be looking for promises to be kept on lower taxes (city level) and less spending (state and national level). If we don't lead the way- Democrats will. They'll cut away at the basics (defense, public safety) in order to keep their programs (welfare, cultural/arts). Please make your voices heard at all levels of our government to ensure that this doesn't happen and that our elected officials understand that you don't NEED to increase spending, it can be frozen- or heaven forbid- CUT.