Providing Relief for our Taxpayers - Carlo DeMaria

Providing Relief for Our Tax Payers

At the most recent board of Aldermen meeting held on Monday, June 24th I presented the City Council with a request to appropriate $1 million from Free Cash to offset the FY14 Tax Rate.  To me, this request was straightforward and simple – if and when we have the ability to ease the burden of the taxpayer, we do so. 

For the past year the financial outlook of our City has greatly improved.  Due to good operations, budget management, and positive excess revenue collection, we have been able to secure strong financial stability.  We have maintained a stellar bond rating, most recently highlighted by the fact that we received an unparalleled interest rate of 0.024% for the $5,500,000, 270-day bonds that will go toward projects included in our FY13 Capital Improvement Plan.  And Moody’s continues to rate us at the highest level of Aa3 on our outstanding bonds.  The rating agency cited that the City’s satisfactory financial position, bolstered by healthy reserve levels, a sizable tax base and a manageable debt profile, position Everett for such positive credit factors.

Back in May when I first presented the FY14 Budget to both the City Council and the residents, I noted that it was a goal of mine to reduce the burden of taxes on the City’s residents.  In order to do so I proposed first a $1 million dollar free cash appropriation and also a $650,000 appropriation from parking receipts, all in order to help alleviate the tax burden on our property owners and provide them with additional relief.

For me, this is essential.  At any point, if we as an administration are able to provide relief to the hardworking taxpayers in this City, we will.  And I am sure that for the average property owner in our City, no amount would be considered too small.  The $1 million appropriation voted on at the last Board of Aldermen meeting will decrease the tax levy by an estimated 1.2% across the City.  Furthermore the $650,000 appropriation from parking meter receipts will lower it an additional .8%.  That comes to an approximate 2% reduction.  Some have stated that this is a small figure, or a meager amount.  A small figure?  Hardly in today’s economy.  I applaud the Councilors and Aldermen who had the foresight to vote in favor of these appropriations and spoke up on behalf of the taxpayers.  I know that by continuing to work together we can retain Everett’s strong financial condition for the future, while still providing the best services possible to our deserving residents and property owners.

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