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Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Two Questions For Candidates Running For Janesville City Council

1. The area's largest business group said if Janesville residents are unwilling to accept higher tax obligations, the local economy could death spiral. What is your position on that statement? (Agree/Disagree) and why?

2. More and more TIF District agreements are removing the city's top new tax revenue growth from General Fund obligations, some for as many as 27 years, revenue that is necessary to maintain the increasing costs of our city services and quality of life. Assuming the city will be left with relatively flat revenue growth to pay the bills for an extended period of time, what do you suggest to counter those effects?

Note: Other than to clarify the questions if necessary, I will not rebut any replies from candidates willing to respond here.


Anonymous said...

You didn't actually believe council candidates would answer your questions, did you?

Lou Kaye said...

No, I did not. At all. But after submitting similar questions a few years ago at two LWV candidate forums in JVL only to go unread, I figure why bother again?

I can post them here and at least be entertained by watching them go unanswered.

Steve Knox said...

Steve Knox here. As far as your first question is concerned I disagree. I believe as a whole the citizens of Janesville understand their tax obligation and, if properly shown what the city will do with additional taxes I believe citizens as a whole would consider an increase. That written, I believe there is an option to relieve a bit of the tax burden on 'the mass'. It will take a legislative push and strong support from the city. This is a push for the state to allow municipalities to assess up to a .5% sales tax. Based on numbers run last year by the city, the increase in funds would be roughly $7million. It isn't an overnight solution but it's a possible solution to this and question 2.

Now, you may or may not agree with me but I will listen to your solutions. Would you care to answer your questions?

Thanks -- Steve Knox

Lou Kaye said...

Steve, since you asked, I think first it should be incumbent upon the citizenry to question the intent, consequences and goal of these proposals and those running for office - not the other way around.

My first question asks whether residents should accept higher tax obligations to prevent an economic "death spiral" as suggested by FJ. I have to assume you disagree with only the "death spiral" part because your answer to the second question suggests a new (.5 sales tax) tax obligation meant I think to alleviate another albeit different tax burden.

I'm also not aware of anything (I could be wrong) stopping the city right now from placing a sales tax referendum on the ballot. The recent municipal sale tax referendum legislation pushed by state republicans was designed to lock in those funds administratively ONLY for local roads.

There was a time when I was eager to offer solutions here and advocate for issues, but the circumstances have changed dramatically to change those dynamics.

I do appreciate you coming here and taking this to task and would rather let yours or other replies stand on their own.

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