Why celebrate “Independence Day” when so many American people have no idea what it means? Christmas is the Winter Holiday. Easter is the Spring Holiday. So, should we rename Independence Day? How about Fireworks Extravaganza Day?Read more
by Ms. Julie Smith, a member of the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board elected in November of 2012. Artwork by Miss Natalie Smith, an eighth grade student at Gilbert Classical Academy, a Gilbert Public School.Read more
On August 9, 2016, the Gilbert Town Council voted to increase taxes this year by $1.5 million dollars. It seems that, since former Mayor John Lewis and Council Members Eddie Cook, Jenn Daniels, and Jordan Ray earned a "Hero of Big Government" ranking from Americans for Prosperity in 2015, the trend continues. Council members are spinning and denying it’s a tax increase!
According to Mayor Jenn Daniels: "In light of the incredible misinformation that is being disseminated on Facebook and other forums, I would like to set the record straight: YOUR TAXES DID NOT GO UP by our vote last night or any other vote by our current Town Council."
The Arizona Tax Research Association (ATRA) called it a tax increase, as did the Town of Gilbert website!
"In a split vote, the Town of Gilbert elected to raise its secondary property tax for FY17 from a rate of $1.0567 to $1.0609. This results in a tax levy increase of approximately $1.5 million. Surprisingly, some council members attempted to argue the tax rate and levy increase wasn’t a tax increase at all. For town leaders to suggest this is not a tax increase is simple obfuscation.
"In actuality, the rate should have decreased substantially this year if they accounted for what property taxpayers have already paid. For cities and towns, the secondary property tax is used exclusively for the repayment of voter-approved bonds. The estimated debt service schedule in this year is $22.7 million. The town has previously over-collected nearly $15 million for this purpose. This money is not a rainy day fund and cannot be used for any other purpose. The town voted to use just 12% of this overpayment account ($1.7 million) to pay for debt service in FY17. It is regrettable the town elected to increase taxes while it earns interest on past over-collections which sit in the bank. Taxpayers must pay the debt-service on bonds, but they first ought to be credited for what they have already paid. At a minimum, Gilbert owes a specific plan to its taxpayers to credit them back for what they have previously overpaid. There is no financial justification to stockpile a massive sum as taxpayers are constitutionally obliged to repay the debt service on voter-approved debt each year via the property tax, making it an incredibly reliable and secure debt-instrument."
Town of Gilbert website: "Proposed New and Increased Taxes or Fees"
The tax hike passed 4-2. Here is the vote:
For the past four years, the Gilbert Town Council has struggled to balance the budget. The numbers change constantly, but the latest deficit seems to be around $8-10 million after counting reductions already identified.Read more
The three at-large members of the Citizens Budget Committee unanimously oppose the Town of Gilbert’s proposed permanent sales tax increase (Proposition 406).
As citizens of the town, we were selected and chartered by the Town Council, to help resolve the town’s budget issues. In this voluntary capacity, we directly supported the Town Council. For 3 months we poured over the budgets and worked with the other citizen sub-committees and Town staff in reviewing hundreds of ideas.Read more
Here’s the difference between Gilbert and Queen Creek: Gilbert possesses a politically active, determined, hard-working, Constitutional conservative citizenry that found ways to cut spending without resorting to slash and burn budget cutting measures. Thus, no lay-offs of public safety employees and no salary cuts.Read more
Why didn’t incumbents Linda Abbott, Dave Crozier and Ben Cooper show up last Tuesday to the Republican Legislative District 22 Gilbert Town Council Candidate Forum? Uncomfortable around real Republicans?Read more
This morning’s headlines read: “Unemployment back up to 9.0%,” “Gas eats 9% of household income,” “Arizona gas prices still on the rise,” and “Renters see sharp rise in rates.” Although all the economic news isn’t this dour, Gilbert citizens should consider this news as we vote.Read more
This spring Gilbert voters will choose four members to serve on the Gilbert Town Council. The incumbents up for re-election are Linda Abbott, Ben Cooper, Dave Crozier, and Les Presmyk. For many reasons, it’s important to elect new leadership.Read more
For the last 13 years, Gilbert budget planners have forecasted large multi-million dollar deficits. Magically, the Town ended either with a surplus or very small deficit each year. Each year some of our elected officials make the case to raise some sort of tax whether it’s a primary property or sales tax or Use Tax. Taking a moment to reflect on the history of Gilbert budgeting has great importance on our current election.Read more