Conway City Council considering $5 million tax hike | News
He said they value their employees and at the same time understand that they need to be fiscally responsible to city residents and businesses.
Again, he points out that the cost of doing business has gone up. He points to the cost of sewer lines, which he says has increased by 40% in just one year.
Conway Councilman Larry White is philosophical about the tax increase and the council’s response to it.
“If it’s necessary we’ll do it, but if it’s not necessary we won’t,” he said.
He likes the idea of asking homebuilders to pay a fee for each new home built instead of asking longtime residents to pay more.
“It’s not fair for us current residents to pay for someone else who comes to town,” he said.
White says the city can’t continue to do business as usual and continue to grow because it won’t be fair to its residents.
“We have to be careful of the majority…” he said.
Councilor William Goldfinch expects the proposed budget to pass.
“I don’t know why it wouldn’t. I think we are all on board,” he said.
Goldfinch does not view the tax mile increase as a real tax increase.
“The cost of living is rising. It has to be passed on. It is not a real tax increase. It’s a nominal tax increase,” he said.
Adding later, “It’s an increase in inflation.”
Goldfinch said it’s important for the city to maintain wages, so employees don’t fall behind.
As for the $300 fee, he said, as the city continues to expand and grow its footprint, it creates greater demand for city services.
He said when it comes to sanitation, garbage collection, the city is already stressed.
So when a new neighborhood is added, it means more staff is needed and a dump truck can cost $1 million.
“Who’s supposed to pay for this?” He asked.
The $300 fee will ask new residents to cover the cost of additional services.
“Long-time residents shouldn’t have to subsidize the cost of new development,” he said.