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Let's see if I understand this. Adding 5 1/2 people to the staff and quintupling the capital improvement budget is considered "holding the line" on Marco. Our homeowners association is deferring all "nice" capital improvements, making only essential changes, reducing unessential services and paring the labor force so we'll be around to make and enjoy the improvements when the economy recovers.
Only on Marco would increasing the ad valorem tax rate by 26% and the utility rate by 13% be considered "holding the line." Our HOA has an assessment cap based on COLA too and we adhere to it. Our assessments will rise slightly (but within the cap) because the rotten economy has affected house sales and reduced initiation fees, a major source of income. When things get tight we control expenditures. We don't play Musical Money.
Marco's general fund is up $700K but the budget, which presumably includes quintupling the capital-improvement allocation and adding 5 1/2 people to the Empire, is down $8 million? Something doesn't compute! More Marco Magic?
Isn't it interesting that when Marco property values were rising, the Council took such pride in claiming to reduce "taxes" (actually the tax rate was reduced; tax revenue ALWAYS increased) but now excuses itself from raising the tax rate 26% because property values have fallen 10%. You put some money in and you stir it all about .....
Marco Magic no longer affects me but I thought to remind my friends on the island that there ARE ways to control expenses in tight times. Hint: it's not done by electing leaders who make such oxymoronic statements as a "Tax hike will even things out!"
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