City council approves budget, including using majority of additional tax revenue | Local government
She noted – as she has already done – that Lancaster County and Lincoln County Public Schools have offered to cut their tax rates by one cent.
“And today we can’t even reduce it by a dime?” Half a cent? A quarter of a cent is the best we can do as a city council? ” she said. “I think we have to let that sink in. I know we can do better.”
She proposed to allocate $ 750,000 for property tax relief, a proposal that was twice rejected. That would have been less than a cent reduction in the tax rate, which the mayor had proposed to leave the same as this year, to 31.98 cents per $ 100 of assessment.
The other five board members – Bennie Shobe, Tammy Ward, Sändra Washington, James Michael Bowers and Tom Beckius – have supported directing the bulk of the money to services which they believe will help reduce many unspecified needs. satisfied with the city.
They argued that they heard as much about the need to improve various services as they did about property tax relief.
“We hear all the time about streets, parks, tree cutting, mental health, public safety,” Ward said. “These are real needs and we are meeting them.
Initially, five council members backed an amendment that provided $ 1.5 million split between affordable housing, sidewalk repairs, tree maintenance, hiring two more firefighters, and mental health services. Beyond that, they wanted $ 500,000 in property tax relief and split everything else between the police and fire board and the streets.