The purpose of this article is to draw a clear distinction between myself and my opponent. With this information, you can make an informed decision and vote accordingly.
First of all, let me say I am very hopeful about Huntsville’s future. It will be a bright one when dedicated and qualified leadership is elected to Council. I realize I would be only one of nine decision-makers on City Council. But I also realize one person can make a positive difference in our city, especially when that individual is committed to do the right things for the right reasons.
I believe there are three major issues facing Huntsville. They are overtaxation, which includes hidden taxes in the form of exorbitant utility rates, the waste of tax dollars and an obsession to provide tax incentives to major corporations which devastate local businesses ... all championed by my opponent, Mr. Johnson.
My opponent voted to support property tax and utility rate increases that resulted in the city collecting $13 million more than it needs to operate. Unfortunately, this enormous sum is being wasted or hidden.
With all of these additional funds, the city is scrambling to spend them in order to make the fund balances appear smaller.
Mr. Johnson is spearheading this mad rush to either waste or hide your tax dollars. Just one of the many examples of frivolous and wasteful spending is the approval of $250,000 for visitors’ wayfinding signs.
In addition, $1.4 million has been approved for various research studies conducted by out-of-town consultants. If history repeats itself, these studies will line the shelves at the service center collecting dust never to be used.
The city seems to forget this is your money they are wasting. They would not spend their own money so recklessly. Help me stop this waste.
In 2012, Mr. Johnson voted to raise your property taxes $60 on an average home. This year, to appease you, the city lowered your taxes by $4.50. Wow, what a savings! I will work to lower your taxes and give back the entire $60.
In Mr. Johnson’s recent Q and A in The Item, he touted the addition of Academy to the tax rolls.
Evidently, Mr. Johnson had not done his homework. The vast majority of new businesses located on the west side of the interstate, including Academy, do not pay one cent in property taxes to the city. All the taxes paid go to the developer.
In addition, of the sales tax revenues generated by these businesses, the city receives only .5 percent; the majority of sales tax goes to the developer. Mr. Johnson’s statements were both inaccurate and misleading.
Mr. Johnson believes billion-dollar retail corporations should be subsidized by taxpayers. I don’t. Inevitably local businesses would be forced to pay taxes to support their competition.
In contrast, I believe we should promote genuine economic development by focusing on new businesses and industry which would bring additional revenues and jobs to Huntsville.
Now you are informed; it’s time to vote.