Tax should have been cut

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 25, 2003

Staff report

When businesses become more productive and efficient, savings realized are generally reinvested in the business – either in the form of machinery and equipment, worker salaries, increased stockholder dividends or management bonuses. In big companies, it’s almost always management bonuses.

It would make sense for a government entity to do the same on the rare occasion when one becomes more productive and efficient. If taxpayers are paying more for services than it costs the government to provide them, government should return the overage to those paying for it.


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Four Suffolk City Council members don’t see it that way.

On Wednesday, Mayor E. Dana Dickens, Vice Mayor Leroy Bennett, Linda Johnson and Calvin Jones voted to deny a tax reduction for folks living in the Suffolk Taxing Break. These residents pay higher taxes than others in the city to fund services above and beyond what residents of other areas receive.

According to City Manager Steve Herbert, the cost of providing those services is going down. So what gives?

While there may be some merit to claims of the four that they would rather see an overall tax restructuring throughout the city, not just one piece at a time, the fact remains that people in the Suffolk Taxing District are being gouged. The tax reduction could have been granted without hampering efforts to restructure elsewhere.

As it stands, downtowners are now paying extra to fund services that could well be benefiting those in other parts of the city. That’s not right.