Bulk of City’s Free Cash, Will Be Used to Lower Property Taxes

By Josh Resnek

The mayor has announced he and his Chief Financial Officer Eric Demas have decided to take $10 million of the city’s remaining free cash to reduce property taxes.

When exactly the mayor is planning to do this remains unknown.

The mayor made this announcement during the School Finance Commission hearing Thursday night.

According to records on file at city hall, each $1 million put against the tax rate can return a savings on the tax rate for payers of between .90 to $1.16.

The full $10 million suggested by the mayor and his chief economic adviser could save taxpayers about $20 for the year – and this doesn’t include what will be paid because of rising taxes.

Also, the $10 million is money that already came from taxpayers contributions.

“It would be a far better thing for the mayor to put this $10 million toward something useful for the community,” said a former public official here with an understanding of the city’s finances.

“Using this sum of money, a very large part of the cash the city has on hand to be able to have a headline that he’s given people a tax break – well – it isn’t even an election year. It isn’t much of a tax break, either. He should keep the $10 million on hand. He’s going to need it,” said the former public official who wished to remain unnamed.

The mayor refuses to comment to the Leader Herald.

It is believed the city might have a remaining $3-$5 million in cash on hand after paying out the $10 million.

There is also the matter of the $9 million just borrowed by the city to pay for upcoming financial obligations and expenses, which is to be paid back next year, according to city officials earlier statements.

If that $9 million is added to the $10 million it equals $19 million likely to be subtracted from the $30 million expected in lieu of tax payment from Wynn Resorts in June, 2019, if and when the casino actually opens and the city receives it.

This would leave the city with an extra $11 million, which might well be owed for by the time the city gets it.

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