City’s approach on taxes seems fair

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 24, 2002

The city of Selma has reached the conclusion that it needs to generate more revenues to keep the city operating at the level citizens are accustomed to.

With that conclusion reached, the city is in the process of finding ways to generate the revenue. A couple of weeks ago, the city held public hearings on several fee and tax increases. Public attendance at these hearings was sparse, which isn’t surprising.

Many citizens oppose increases in fees and taxes, yet do little to voice an opinion against those increases. Thus, we pay the increases and then moan about the cost of living.

The city would like to get less reliant on sales taxes. Sales taxes ebb and flow with the economy, making revenue difficult to project.

However, all businesses are faced with the same ebbs and flows. Businesses do not have the luxury that the city does when it comes to raising revenues. The city can increase mandatory fees and taxes and watch the money come in. A business cannot do the same.

The city needs to carefully watch and control its plan to increase revenues. Today’s economy isn’t bad, and it isn’t robust. In our opinion, there isn’t a lot of margin to increase fees and taxes here.

What the city has proposed and passed so far has been fair and just. We like the city’s approach of updating fees and taxes that have not been raised in years. This shows good judgment.

We also like the idea of phasing in these taxes and fees instead of raising them sharply at once. We do not like the idea of increased sales taxes at this time or a hike in property taxes. We also believe that any type of employment tax at this time would not be wise.

The city of Selma appears to be on a good path to incrementally increase its revenues through careful study and raising fees that can be raised without further burdening citizens.

Raising taxes in this manner shows fiscal responsibility and a respect for taxpayers.