Guest Commentary

Spending Too Much,  Saving Too Little

We Reap What We Sow

By Steven Pinto

It’s too bad that we were duped by politicians into thinking a casino was going to help Everett’s finances and therefore would help residents as well.

The only thing the casino payments have done so far was to help city hall spend more money with little regard for taxpayers and rental properties.

I get the whole idea about property values.

The increased values lead to higher taxes but in almost every instance the tax rate itself is lowered as values rise.

But obviously city hall isn’t having any part of that. They want it all and want it now. So many times I hear Everett is a poor community.

I guess we are not that poor when it comes to financing the city.

The thinking is that this will flip and eventually commercial will be valued higher than residential.

I hope someone is right about this.

But even still, it doesn’t guarantee residential will be paying less than we do now. Several months ago Pam Davis sat in front of the council and said the casino has nothing to do with Everett’s rising property values.

I balked at that one. Everyone should have thought about what she said.

Then just a few weeks ago, the city’s CEO Eric Demas said there is a connection between the casino and property values.

Funny to hear two opposite statements from city officials.

I’m sure everyone at city hall knew that property values would rise and the burden would be placed on Everett residents through higher taxes and higher rents.

So basically the casino did just the opposite.

City hall has seen a pile of cash coming its way, including the $12.5 million we just received from Wynn Resorts and which was gone immediately.

When the cash comes in city hall says: “How can we spend this?”

The same will be done when we get the $30 million next year.

I’m sure it’s already being spent.

As much as I agree with your editorial in the July 12, Leader Heraldabout the mayors out of control spending, I put most of the blame on the city council for basically rubber stamping the budget.

They do it every year.

They allow themselves to be controlled by the Mayor, or at least the majority does. The council plays a major role when it comes to controlling spending and taxes. Ultimately, the irresponsible out of control spending lies at the feet of the city council.

So if residents are upset over their tax bill, they should remember the city council is as much to blame, if not more than the mayor.

At the final budget hearing the city council talked about how they couldn’t believe the taxes were going up by 11%. Then they went on to approve $5 million in capital improvements with little hesitation or discussion.

Then they pretend to be shocked about the tax increase is all kind of amusing.

Then the game they play is telling residents that the casino money is helping to decrease taxes.

That is incorrect, it’s just helping to prevent them from going higher.

There is a huge difference between these two statements.

If the $12.5 million the city received two weeks ago can’t help stabilize Everett’s taxes, then do we really think $30 million will make much of a difference?

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