Monday, October 27, 2008

Pataskala income tax FUD

(That's Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt -- a term of art in the computer software industry, often pertaining to established vendors' attitude toward new technology. The established vendor will attempt to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about the new technology in an attempt to maintain their established customers.)

Today's FUD is $500K-plus in cuts ready if Pataskala's income-tax issue fails, by the aptly-named Lori Wince. Our leaders have already determined what muscle will be cut if they don't get their income tax the seventh time around:
  • No parks and recreation department;
  • Personnel cuts in planning and zoning; public-service; and street departments;
  • Suspending road resurfacing;
  • No capital improvements unless funded by other grants.
Already cut:
  • Snow removal, except on major streets;
  • Streetlight repair
(The article doesn't state whether we'll get those last two back if we knuckle under to the income tax. I suspect not, but I'm not going to look it up right now -- it's a moot point if the tax issue fails anyway.)

The timing of this issue is unfortunate, due to increases in overall property taxes (about 10%) in 2008, plus the financial panic and drop in the stock market that has reduced our 401(k) and retirement balances. Now, Pataskala wants another 1-2% of our paycheck, without repudiating their ability to also collect municipal property taxes. Anybody else besides me thinking that it's a really bad idea?

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