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Thursday, August 10, 2017

After Plugging $1M Budget Hole With $2.3M, Janesville Boasts $10K Surplus!

Wow. What a "story" from the Janesville Gazette and Janesville City Manager Mark Freitag on his administration reporting a $9,800 city surplus going into the next budget session.

According to Freitag, it's (his) the city's Foxconn-like sell-out-our-future economic development strategy that turned the budget around ...

JG Excerpt:
Much of the difference can be attributed to new construction, such as the $56 million Dollar General warehouse. Such projects increase the tax base and give the city more property tax revenue, City Manager Mark Freitag said.

How stupid does he think us chumps are? Apparently. Very.

Because the city does not collect one penny in income tax or property tax from Dollar General and ...because the $56M warehouse is in a TIF District, its assessed value is not tax payable in Janesville's assessed value of $4.6 billion. That's right. And, because the city keeps information on their TIF Districts closely guarded, it's a good guess Freitag will be close to 80 years old by the time DG finally contributes to Janesville's assessed value and the General Fund.

Even DG's building permit fees totaling $232K have been kicked back to them. So, Dollar General's direct contributions to the city's budget is closer to a big fat zero.

JG Excerpt:
Janesville's projected assessed value for 2017 is $4.6 billion. That's an 11 percent increase from last year and the biggest increase since 1996, Freitag said.

An 11% increase from last year. That comes to about $500M in assessed value. And, that growth is largely responsible for only $9,800 in surplus?

But $500M in assessed value growth? Whoa! Did all of Janesville's TIF Districts suddenly retire and go on the assessment tax rolls? Did someone suddenly build 2,500 homes for DG employees in Janesville valued at $200K each over the last twelve months?

No? Why not?

Because that's what it would take if we believed Freitag's gimmicky self-aggrandizing statements giving credit to the city's economic development strategy by equating growth in assessed value to the budget surplus. That's his accounting of it ...not mine.

Freitag's and the Gazette's fairy tale about where the $9,800 surplus came from is just another story in a long line of corporate-establishment media propaganda being fed to the local consuming masses.

The truth for the surplus is closer to city fee hikes totaling $2.3M to fill Freitag's 2016 $1M budget deficit AND last year's snow plow budget in a city that saw light snow and very few plowing events for the budget season. The question should be why doesn't Janesville have at least a $500,000 surplus to celebrate at this point instead of a feeble $9,800.

The second question should be why do we have a political ideologue for a city manager who spins up trickle-down corporate economic development schemes when there's a city surplus, and blames unions when there's a city deficit.

RNR - So Predictable. Soon After Downtown TIF District Approval, Janesville Fees Set To ARISE

RNR - Top Local Story 2016: The Janesville Kleptocracy Is Strong

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