Thursday, November 3, 2011

Why I support a Smyrna Tax increase

What did I just say.  Am I crazy?  Give the local government more money?  Your insane Bob!

The proposed budget discussed in the finance committee and approved by such includes a 6 cent property tax increase per $100 of access value.  Hmmmm, what does that mean? .....Well to put this into terms that the normal human can understand we need to do a little bit of math. (I promise to be brief here)  I will use my building located at 32 Artisan Drive Smyrna Delaware.

According to the public records my Gross Assessment Amount is $438,100.00.  So.......

438,100.00 divided by 100 (This is the units that the tax is based on) = 4381

0.06 (6 Cents) X 4381 = $262.86 Tax increase

Ouch!  Am I happy that my expenses will be going up?  Well yes and no.  Here is what I mean.

This is a $21.90 monthly bill.  Which is easily adjusted for in my monthly budget.  It is a fixed cost.  Unlike an utility increase.  Where you are paying an adjustable electric use rate.  This is a number that I know will be the final bill.  Making my life easier.

So what does $21.90 buy for me?  Well for starters a better Police Station.  Whereas the current police station in Smyrna Delaware is too small.  The structure can not support current technology requirements.  I interviewed our Chief of Police Wilbert Bordley about the current and new Police Station:

So I get a higher tech, better, greater Police Department in my town.  This is good.  In addition, added to the budget were the Lifeguards for Lake Como and the Smyrna July 4th Association.  Both of which are very important.  So just by adding these 3 great items to the Town budget means that for me to enjoy Lake Como during the summer months I need only pay ~$7 per month and to help secure my business with a better prepared police department I need only add ~$7 per month to my budgeted expenses for the year?

One other point that I would like to make here.  In most cases I am the worst case scenario when we talk about the assessed value of my property.  In most cases the assessed value of a single family home in Smyrna on average is about ~$200,000 adding only $120 per year to the taxes or simply put $10 per month.  So, in my opinion what a great value.  Expanded and or added services for a minuscule increase in the taxes we are charged every year.

Of course not everyone in Smyrna will agree with my view.  For example, Bill Pressley of W.D. Pressley contractors had this to say about the tax increase:

"After hearing and now reading the Sun/Times.  I can't believe this town council, Mayor and town manager would even think about raising taxes 6 cents........Every day people are losing their homes, jobs .......

I have said for 6 years we need to raise taxes ...........

The Mayor ran her campaign by saying no taxes......."

Well I understand how Bill feels and I am sure there are others in town that feel the same way.  However, I think that it is better that we raise taxes rather than raise the electric rate in town.  Bill if we want to get businesses to come to Smyrna, it has to be cost effective.  Raising the electric rate to balance the budget doesn't work.  It is time that the property owners of this town stepped up and started footing the bill for the needs of the residents.  The days of getting grant money from the state and relying on the property transfer tax are over.

Now to put this into even brighter light.  If the average Smyrna monthly tax increase is $10.  The average Smyrna resident need only cut ~5 cups of coffee or bring lunch one day per month.

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