Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Franchise Fee (Tax) Increase Was Not Necessary

To All COLA LO Members,

Several articles over the past two weeks have identified serious concerns over the decision by the council in June to increase residents taxes with increasing the Franchise Fee.   These come on the revelation that the city actually had a $2.8 million surplus when it projected $500K.  
This issue of increasing taxes in difficult times has been a subject of ongoing community concern for nearly a year now.   

The Budget Committee proposed a no increase option but this was overturned by the council in a 4-3 vote.  

This past week Councilor Gudman released an article indicating the increase was not necessary:   Franchise Fee (Tax) Increase Not Required

Several weeks ago Budget Committee member Kent Studebaker released an article questioning the surplus and use of the funds:  Council's Response to Surplus

Board Member Dave Berg also released an article discussing the accountability issue as it relates to the budget and the surplus:   Accountability in LO Questioned

Overall the issue is a significant one in a community where income growth has stagnated and fees and taxes continue to increase at rates well beyond inflation.   The combination of tax increases and utility rate increases are making it very difficult in a maturing community.

Property taxes increased 3% this year despite the fact that property values actually decreased in Lake Oswego.  

Please notify all members, contacts, and friends.  

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