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Mayor’s Silence Deafening When It Comes to Rising Taxes

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Owners of properties throughout the city have recently received some of the heftiest
tax increases levied here in the past two decades.

Residential owners, longtime owners of two and three family homes, and newer residents of the city who bought at the highest prices ever struck, have received tax increases, this, despite the city receiving more than $30 million in added in lieu of tax revenues from Wynn Resorts.

Councilor Fred Capone last week told his colleagues on the council that it would appear that bringing the casino here has not yet proven to be of any real advantage to the city, that is, other than the promise of much bigger and better things to come as the mayor is predicting.

Capone said the casino coming was supposed to bring the city financial security and benefits – chief among them – lower taxes.

Taxes have gone the other way, higher and higher, even with the promise of the casino.

The city’s chief financial officer, Eric Demas, the architect of the city’s financial planning, has had nothing public to say about the issue of rising taxes despite a huge inflow of in lieu of tax payments from Wynn Resorts.

Demas’ concerns are largely centered on the city’s bond rating, which have proven to be sage, especially since the city recently borrowed about $10 million to pay some expenses coming due.

At a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors last week, the mayor described 2019 as a difficult year in the making.

What the mayor and his chief financial officer must militate against, is spending that far exceeds the city’s income.

No city can survive spending out more than it takes in as such a policy leads to insolvency and bankruptcy.

We believe Councilor Capone’s admonitions last week hit the nail on the head: “The casino was supposed to bring lower taxes and financial security. We have neither. We voted in a casino to lower our taxes and to keep millions in reserve.”

What he might have asked is this: how can this be a tough year coming with the casino
almost here?

This question needs to be publicly answered by the mayor and his CFO.

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