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October 4, 2013

Mayoral candidate says city needs to grow tax base

(Continued)

The council has until Jan. 9, 2014, to finalize the budget.

Rosenquest said if he is elected he will keep the city budget under the tax cap.

“We’ll stay under the mandated tax cap when I’m mayor, and I’m committed to this demanding discipline, and we’ll do it in a way that preserves our quality of life without sacrificing our future,” he said in his news release.

“Rather than continuing the current ‘tax, spend and borrow from savings’ approach to managing the city’s finances, I will do what the city should have been focusing on years ago: a concerted effort and focused effort on increasing our tax base.”

‘OFFENDED’

Calnon, 64, who as mayor pro tem has served as the budget officer since 2007, said Rosenquest’s plan is not impressive.

“He figured out what just about every high-school kid in the country knows: If you increase your tax base, you help your budget,” he said.

“I am actually offended by this, and everyone who has worked on development in this city should be offended, too.”

Calnon said the city’s tax base has grown from $809 million of assessed property value to $932 million since he joined the council, for an increase of 20 percent.

“We have had development, and we’ve maintained our assessments and kept them updated,” he said.

“To suggest that he is the first person to discover this idea of increasing the tax base is just shameless self-promotion, and it makes me question whether his candidacy has any legitimacy at all.”

‘VERY DILIGENT’

Tiffer, 29, said Rosenquest’s statements about the city taxing, spending and borrowing are not accurate at all.

“This council and the mayor have stayed under the tax cap and have never exceeded it,” he said.

“We have been very diligent and worked on these budgets to be sure to balance the quality of life for our residents without sacrificing the services they deserve and want.”

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