Mayor Dave sent a letter in response to my recent post on his proposed budget that would raise property taxes 5.4%:
Dear Mr. Zellmer:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding the City budget. I, too, am concerned about the rising pressure on property taxes.
In my 2005 budget, I am proposing City spending increases of 3.6 percent, which is comparable to inflation plus City growth. In fact, the increase would be only 1.8 percent if we excluded four major items over which we have little or no control: rising fuel costs, health insurance for our employees, pension fund payments, and debt services.
Yet despite our responsible approach to spending, taxes go up at a much greaterrate than spending increases. The reason is declining and stagnant state aid programs. If state aids had just kept pace with inflation over the past two years, taxes on the average home would be $66.00 lower. Ultimately, the solution to high property taxes is not to gut City services, but to convince the Legislature to
fully fund state aid programs.
State and federal funds ultimately originate in the same pocketbook as property taxes…….
Russ Feingold voted Yes and Herb Kohl voted “present”!
The recent tax giveaway also helped Chinese Ceiling Fan Manufacturers according to Edmund Andrews.
I remain puzzled as to why Russ Feingold would support this. Herb Kohl’s vote is simply amazing. I think we should all pay taxes at the 5.25% rate major corporations won in this legislation.
Taxprof parses the winners (professional sports team owners) and losers (hollywood, to some degree). I’m still mystified as to our Senators votes: Feingold: Yes and Kohl “Present”.
Nice to see US Attorney General John Ashcroft is busy addressing our most pressing legal needs: protecting Hollywood.
Ashcroft declares “most aggressive assault” on piracy in US history
At a press conference in Los Angeles today, Atttorney General John Ashcroft announced an expansion of Department of Justice powers to combat intellectual property theft. Some say the approach appears to be modeled after the war on drugs.
The U.S. Justice Department recommended a sweeping transformation of the nation’s intellectual property laws, saying peer-to-peer piracy is a “widespread” problem that can be addressed only through more spending, more FBI agents and more power for prosecutors.
In an extensive report released Tuesday, senior department officials endorsed a pair of controversial copyright bills strongly favored by the entertainment industry that would criminalize “passive sharing” on file-swapping networks and permit lawsuits against companies that sell products that “induce” copyright infringement.
Link to Declan’s News.com story, Link to DoJ press release, Link to the lengthy report issued today by the DoJ’s Task Force on Intellectual Property (PDF). More coverage at the LA Times: Link 1, Link 2
Via Boing Boing