Letter: I definitely ‘astutely follow the workings of my local government’

Editor:

Dan Engler should get his facts straight before he editorializes: “City’s sales tax debate becomes theater of unexpected.”

In fact I think I do “... astutely follow the workings of my local government and have a keen understanding of the fiscal challenges confronting Cottonwood City Hall.”

At a February city council work session I proposed the idea of an increase to the city sales tax to build reserves, perform deferred maintenance and pay down liabilities all of which are desperately needed due to belt tightening measures instituted as a result of the recession of 2008.

At 3 percent, Cottonwood’s city tax is the same as Clarkdale’s and lower than that of Camp Verde, Jerome and Sedona.

Additionally all of these towns except Cottonwood have a city property tax -- either general or special district -- to help them fund city services.

I told the council at that February work session that I was amazed that the city had done as well as it had for the last decade and that an increase in the sales tax rate was a no brainer to me.

In fact, in my opinion, is that it is fiscally irresponsible not to increase the sales tax rate.

Since then I have written to our mayor and council members and attended work sessions to advocate for an increase to the sales tax rate because the city is vulnerable to another economic downturn without a sales tax increase to fund reserves, infrastructure and pay down liabilities like the unfunded pension liabilities that are being passed on to towns by the state at the same time the state is reducing its funding to local cities.

Terri Clements

Cottonwood

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