Friday, November 14, 2008

Taxes to increase 3%?

From the MRJ:

"I think next year will be a unique challenge in town," said Michael Ecke, budget committee chairman. "The reality is the budget can't grow by more than 3 percent because the people won't be able to afford it."

He addresses the budget - not taxes, not spending. But since most people don't speak in terms of affording town spending or affording town budgets... I'm guessing he's suggesting next year's tax increase will be no more than 3%.

Any other takes on his comment?

Tim White

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

BOE side 65-70% of budget. They better talk to that dept. head quick.

tim white said...

Move along. These aren't the droids you're looking for.

Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Ecke has it wrong. What he should be saying is "I think the reality is that the budget can't increase at all."

If you want to hand out 4.4% raises, you're going to have to reduce expenses in other areas by the same amount. If you can't do that, then you better start laying people off.

greg florio's responses said...

(1) Spending is not out of control -- I control the BOE and I control spending. Just cough up and shut up.

(2) But it's for the children !

(3) "Only little people pay taxes". (Thank you, Leona Helmsley)

Anonymous said...

Looking at the typical property tax bills residents in this town pay now one must wonder how anyone, let alone a politician needing reelection, could decide that the town budget can grow by another 3%. It becomes even more amazing when the concepts associated with a 3% increase are studied.

1.) Could it mean that with the 3% vision we’ll see 3% more or better snow plowing, 3% better standardized tests scores for our school kids, 3% better trash collection etc?
2.) Or does it simply mean that with a bit of luck things won’t become any worse and the status quo for municipal employees will be maintained?
3.) Or worse does it mean that in a time of really terrible economic outcomes municipal employees will actually continue to see wages and benefits increase?

And no, it’s a sure bet that an only 3% increase will not fix the town pool, pay for the high school artificial turf field, or help out the proposed set of ball fields slated for the prison property in the north end of town either.

Michael Ecke and his ilk need to seriously consider not a 3% increase but something like a 0% or maybe even a -3% budget in anticipation of what is now unfolding in our national economy. Only fools would view the current financial crisis as coming to a reasonable conclusion any time soon.

tim white said...

9:27... no real quotes, right? Just your inference?

greg florio's responses said...

9:27 here. Yes, just my inference, but most likely his real attitude.

Anonymous said...

Why should Florio care about expenses or taxes? He doesn't live here. The only things that effect him are how much he can get for a travel allowance, salary, benefits and other perks.

It's time for a hard look at the outlandish salaries and benefits and adjust them to the private sector.

Anonymous said...

WE CAN NOT CONTINUE TO COMPARE THE PUBLIC VS PRIVATE SECTOR. THEY ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT ENTITIES. MANY PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES RECEIVE BONUSES, STOCK OPTIONS, DIFFERING VACATION AND SCHEULE FLEXIBILITY. PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES ARE NOT THE BALANCING POINT FOR THE ECONOMY. THE TRADE OFF IS STEADY RAISES ( USUALLY BETWEEN 1-5%) , INSURANCE, AND RELATIVE JOB SECURITY IN BAD TIMES. THEY DO NOT RECIEVE PREMIUM SHIFT DIFFERENTIALS SUCH AS THE MEDICAL PROFESSION, OR LARGE BONUSES WHEN A BUDGET SURPLUS IS AVAILABLE (2 MILLION PER YEAR FOR THE LAST 3 IN THE CASE OF CHESHIRE) - THAT SAID, THE TEACHERS HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED SALARY INCREASES ABOVE THAT OF OTHER PUBLIC SECTOR EMPLOYEES.

tim white said...

1:22 You make some good points. There is a clear trade off that is directly related to the costs and benefits of either sector.

Anonymous said...

"MANY PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEES RECEIVE BONUSES, STOCK OPTIONS, DIFFERING VACATION AND SCHEULE FLEXIBILITY."

I disagree with the "MANY" part.
Perhaps if you are a CEO of a large company but the majority of the private sector are small businesses. When a recession hits like this, we in the smaller private sector get hit the worse. We don't get stock options since our companies aren't public, we don't get flexibility because if we don't show up the work doesn't get done, and we don't get bonuses when there is no money. Add all of that up and then we are in pay freezes until the economy turns around.
Our medical is through the roof because we don't have a large amount of employees to bring the price down.
That is the fact of the real private sector. Those of us who wish we had all those perks, but don't.
That is why we don't understand all the real perks the public sector is getting,. Even a 1% to 5%increase when we are in a pay freeze.
Tim, you work for a large bank, so maybe you are eligible for some of those "perks" that 9:27 is mentioning, but that isn't the real world.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that when the economy is doing well, the private sector thumbs its nose at the public sector employees. Lazy, uneducated, etc... that is why they work for the government. OH, but when the economy goes in the toilet, it's a big crying game. Why do they get this and that. Well 7:15, it sounds like your job sucks right now. Come on over to the dark side!

tim white said...

Tim, you work for a large bank, so maybe you are eligible for some of those "perks" that 9:27 is mentioning, but that isn't the real world.

I get:

1) a 401k with (I believe) a 4% match
2) option to "buy" up to five days vacation
3) a one time stock bonus of (I believe) 30 shares... and with a value of $20/shr... I appreciate it. But it has no bearing on me as an employee.

The other perks (401k and extra vacation days) do have a bearing on me as an ee.

Anonymous said...

Well, why is it when the economy goes bad the Public sector always feel they should still get their raises?
They don't!
Perhaps some of our jobs do "suck", but we are also the people that keep things working here. We are the people who wait on you when you want coffee or lunch, we are the people who will mow your lawn nand keep it looking nice, we arer the people who will cut your hair, we are the people who get hit the hardest.
So, I would love to come to the "dark side" as soon as you are willing to come to my side!
Tim, that sounds pretty good to me, I wish I had a company who gave those perks. I just know that my talents don't allow me to get a job with those benefits. Although I do have a job that I enjoy and not everyone is capable of doing.

tim white said...

Tim, that sounds pretty good to me, I wish I had a company who gave those perks.

I've been extremely fortunate in life and realize that while I'm concerned about my personal finances, there are many people (in Cheshire and around the world) who are in much tougher spot than me.

bill said...

The 3% by Ecke is telling us what the budget is going to be. SO all you fools out there start showing up at budget meetings, cast aside your issues about making public statements and concern about what other people will think of you. The politicians count on the d=facts that we as citizens will not rise up and attempt to have honest & open discussions because we fear what other may say.