The Blue Springs City Council just raised your property taxes (Councilmen Lievsay and Fowler broke ranks and voted against it). No worries though. The council maintains it was an itsy-bitsy amount. Mayor Ross equated it to a Big Mac, but over the last four years the council has itsy-bitsyed us, a lot.

The Blue Springs City Council just raised your property taxes (Councilmen Lievsay and Fowler broke ranks and voted against it). No worries though. The council maintains it was an itsy-bitsy amount. Mayor Ross equated it to a Big Mac, but over the last four years the council has itsy-bitsyed us, a lot.

When first in office, the mayor took a bold and very public stand against new taxes, citing the deteriorating economy. Every August our elected city officials revisit the property tax levy. Since that initial bold stand, the levy has been raised three out of four times, never lowered. The mayor and council also in 2010 raised our sewer rate and water rate to help cover the delinquent payments of developers and landowners participating in the Chapman Farms sewer neighborhood improvement district. Sales taxes in Blue Springs have also been raised a half cent for the fire district, a half cent for the Police Department and a full cent for the transportation development district. Itsy-bitsy creeps our taxes.

This current increase in the property rate was to cover a budgetary shortfall of $165,000. That is worth repeating. The city had to raise the property levy to come up with $165,000 in a proposed budget of $65.4 million. Does this seem odd to anyone other than me? Does it seem odd that we are short on funds, yet we still choose to subsidize the Economic Development Corporation and Adams Pointe Golf Club, or that the council recently decided to take on the responsibility of sidewalk maintenance?

Staff rationalizes this newest increase because they have had declining revenue and decreasing interest income. Do they think this is a pain only they feel? I’m sure citizens, who don’t like the less than 1 percent that their money is making them, wish they had the option of quietly raising new revenue.    

When pressed for an explanation, the city claims that they were justified in seeking this increase because state law says they can. I guess I would like a little reassurance that they at least tried to find an alternative to balancing their budget other than relying on nudging the tax rate upward, again.

Unfortunately, reassured, I am not. Also approved during this council meeting were resolutions for the removal and replacement of wallpaper in City Hall, the removal and replacement of floor coverings in City Hall, the City Hall annex and the codes administration building, and painting the interior and exterior of these buildings. I’ll bet the cost of this redecorating will far exceed $165,000.

In my house it is called priorities. If you don’t have it, you don’t spend it.