To the Editor:
I'm writing in regards to the proposed increase to Gahanna's income tax. After talking with my friends and neighbors, I've found there is a lot of misinformation out there about this increase.
First I'd like to address the claim that the city has already made "significant cuts" to its budget.
Since 2008, when the recession began, the city has increased spending 28 percent. They've done so while making cuts to capital improvements and infrastructure. Basically, the city is spending more, and we are seeing less. This can also be seen in the city's staffing.
The mayor and others have said they have made many cuts to the city's staffing levels. After hearing this, I was surprised to learn that not one city employee has been laid off due to budget cuts. All employee cuts have been either voluntary early buyouts or cuts by attrition. So we have fewer employees making more money to do the same amount of work. So not only is the city less efficient, but we also are spending more.
According to the city's own financial documents, as of July 1, the city spent $150,000 in "compensation adjustments."
So let's get this straight. The city doesn't have the money for $19,000 for the freedom festival and fireworks, but they do have $150,000 for "compensation adjustments."
City Council also agreed to 8-percent raises for some city employees.
I guess it's true about all politics being local because we are seeing the same tactics used from the politicians in Gahanna to sell this tax increase as we are the politicians in Washington.
When we say we don't want to raise the debt ceiling, Washington closes our war memorials to our veterans.
When we say we don't want to raise taxes here in Gahanna, our politicians threaten to close the local senior center.
Let's be clear: This vote on Nov. 5 isn't a choice; it's a hostage situation.
Vote no on Issue 17.