Monday, April 10, 2017

Anonymous: Smoke, Mirrors, and Lower Math

Mayor and Town Finance Manager finally admit that the .5% sales tax increase is not covering Community Center expenses. To compensate for this shortfall, they have siphoned almost an additional $2 million out of the General Fund.
At the April 5, 2017 Council meeting at about the 1:10.13 mark, the Mayor asked the finance Director questions about how much money the Community Center was taking from the General Fund. This is the first admission that the dedicated .5% sales tax increase was NOT providing all the income to run the Community Center and its related amenities (golf, food and beverage, fitness, tennis, swimming, etc.)

The Mayor asked (video right) what percentage of the General Fund was being consumed by the Community Center. The Finance Director responded in terms of the adopted budget. There is a HUGE difference. The FY 16/17 General Fund budget is $43,046,289, while the adopted budget is $117,368,903. This a mere $74,322,614 difference.

The answer was that the Community Center was consuming 6% of the adopted budget; however, with the dedicated revenue source (sales tax) the actual effect was 1.6%.

On the surface 1.6% does not sound like a big deal. However, 1.6% of $117 million is $1.8 million.

So, what is the big deal? For starters, NO monies other than the .5% sales tax revenues were to be utilized for the Community Center. They now admit that they have spent over $1.8 million above and beyond the sales tax revenues.

The payback on the proposed secondary property tax bond is $1.4 million a year for 20 years for a total payback of $28 million. In other words, without the Community Center draining the PEOPLE'S money, we could have the Naranja Park, with all the amenities the PEOPLE requested in the 2014 statistically valid survey.

Be very wary of the numbers coming from Mayor Smoke Mirrors Lower Math.
This article appeared (with no video) in the Arizona Daily Independent on April 7, 2017. It was provided to us by the author of the article.