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Does Avon Lake Need Another Tax Increase?: Letter

Former Avon Lake mayor says plenty of money in rainy day fund.

Editor's note: The following commentary was submitted by K.C. Zuber, the mayor of Avon Lake from 2008-20012.

To the Editor:

In 2012 the and even a former councilman predicted fiscal disaster for Avon Lake if the citizens did not pass a tax increase. Numerous city programs would end. Branch pickup would end, amongst others, if we did not increase taxes.

Did you know the City of Avon Lake in 2012 received an increase of $900,000 over what was budgeted in income tax? Just under $10 million, only a few dollars short of the annual income tax record set in 2007. The City of Avon Lake also received a windfall of over $300,000 by making you pay more for trash pickup. The city received over $1.2 million dollars more than budgeted. That amount is more than double the tax increase.

The city’s “rainy day fund,” a combination of the unencumbered cash reserves of the general fund and income tax transfer fund, was projected to be just over $4 million at the end of 2012. Now that all the final numbers are in, it exceeds 6.4 $million.

Did we need a tax increase or just more prudent financial
management?

KC Zuber

Avon Lake

David February 26, 2013 at 12:07 PM
In this economy, we can't afford a tax increase. I think the school levy is going to have a hard time passing again - some of the past school tax increases need to expire before I will vote for another tax increase for the schools - sorry, but there just isn't enough money left and another city tax increase would not get my vote either. Like I feel about the federal government, we don't have a tax problem, we have a spending problem. We've spent like this flow of money was always going to exist.
buckeye09 February 26, 2013 at 01:08 PM
Hindsight is always perfect, right? Unfortunately when you are making a budget you have to make projections of what income and expenses will be in the future. Maybe the sour grapes former mayor should have left his crystal ball behind for the current mayor and city council. And if city expenses increased at 3% per year since 2007, operating budget would be up 16%. So if they are operating at sub-2007 income level, they aren't doing too bad.
George Z February 26, 2013 at 08:04 PM
His point that despite 'forecasts' - we have increased the rainy day funds at a level more than what was needed. Now many, like me, don't believe when the city (council, schools, etc) cry poor. On how I miss you Joe DiMagio ......
rgnocp38 February 26, 2013 at 09:24 PM
This is just an example of a former Mayor trying to make people believe he is still relevant. Those who say a tax increase is not necessary are the same people who bemoan the problems at hand and say entities "should have foreseen" problems. That is the reason we keep a rainy day fund. As far as the schools... I have never observed such ridiculous responses to school funding as are posted on this site. Private sector businesses can keep profit margins high by cutting costs and laying off during poor economies. They can produce the same quality product and weather the market. Public schools rarely see a decrease in "business activity" as economies of any nature do not reduce activity. Thus... what some are saying is that we need to produce a less quality product. Most of those people will never pay in a lifetime, enough property taxes to cover the cost of what it costs to educate their own child/children. So, I ask... How much of a handout do you believe you deserve? How much of your child's/children's education do you believe someone else should have to pay??
George Z February 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM
"How much of a handout ...." -- it'll always be more. I went to the school board mtg about a month ago and am happy to see some cuts made, but they just were adamant about some items that didn't make sense. I suspect Mayor Zuber was either bored or trying to remain relevant (as you accurately state above) so people will think of him kindly for the next election.
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake February 27, 2013 at 03:39 PM
I find it an oxymoron to use the terms "emergency" and "ten years" in the language for a proposed school levy. An emergency is something you need now, not something you would have people believe you need for the next ten years! If the schools survive this "emergency", will they be refunding back the taxpayers' dollars? As for the comment by rgnocp above, while our property taxes may not cover the cost of educating our own children, do not forget we also pay income taxes which go to every school system in this state. It is all tax monies, not just property taxes! Also, I have my own company and I can tell you we deliver the same quality product during difficult times by cutting our own salaries and working longer hours. Quality is maintained due to the sacrifices made by employees and owners, not by letting workers go to maintain the owner's lifestyle. Taxes are up, unemployment is up, food prices are up, healthcare costs are up, gasoline prices are ridiculous and we expect accountability for every penny spent. To question our commitment to the kids because we demand efficiency and the curtailment of questionable school activities is insulting. If you truly believe the schools have done everything to bring their deficit inline, vote for the levy. I will not until I am convinced. The entitlement mentality has to end. The realities of today's economic environment will force us all to reevaluate our fiscal status and spending moving forward.
A Lifetime Resident of Avon Lake February 27, 2013 at 04:51 PM
People are taxed out! Below is just a sampling of the taxes I pay annually, only to be reminded over and over again I am not paying my "fair share." We continually hear the politicians speaking of "shared sacrifice." I have sacrificed and shared to the point it has put my own financial security in jeopardy. My tax dollars have gone to pay union dues to the NEA, who endorse candidates with no intentions of curbing spending. A tax dollar is a tax dollar and unfortunately for the schools, this is one which the voters have the power not to have forced upon them. I will protect my financial future, not because I do not want to help, but rather because I no longer can. Federal, State, City Income Tax.
 Medicare & Social Security payroll tax @ 7.65% of wages.
 Federal Unemployment Tax
 State Business & Occupation Tax State Unemployment Insurance.
 State Worker’s Compensation Insurance.
 Business Licenses for all states, cities and counties in which business is conducted.
 Transportation taxes . Personal property tax.
 Real property tax.
 Taxes and surcharges on business air travel Taxes on hotels Taxes on rental cars (over 30%) Capital Gains Tax
 Corporate Income Tax
 Gasoline Tax (46.4 cents per gallon)
 Telephone : federal excise tax
, federal universal service fee tax, federal, state and
local surcharge taxes, minimum usage surcharge tax, recurring and non-recurring charges tax, state and local tax
 Plus many, many more. Enough is enough!
william February 27, 2013 at 07:20 PM
" My tax dollars have gone to pay union dues to the NEA, who endorse candidates with no intentions of curbing spending." i dont understand this comment.
Citizens against Former Mayors March 01, 2013 at 12:07 AM
Karl - you are shooting yourself in the foot for a bid for re-election. See if you can follow me here. You said "Did you know the City of Avon Lake in 2012 received an increase of $900,000 over what was budgeted in income tax? Just under $10 million, only a few dollars short of the annual income tax record set in 2007" Your were mayor from 2008-2012. The City was in it's best financial shape in 2007 and 2012. Your words not mine. So it seems like we spotted the bad apple of finance. Its YOU! My powers of deduction have diminished over the years but it seems to me when you were Mayor - we were in the worst financial shape in our 20 year history. I am Glad Mayor Zilka was able to clean up your mess and get us back in the black. You are a stuttering, stumbling fool who needs to move far south of here and take your shenanigans with you!
AvonLaker1234 March 03, 2013 at 07:33 PM
Regarding the school levy and the term "emergency"... It is a legal term for these type of levies it is not a scare tactic. Please do your homework before you make statements - you clearly don't understand the facts.
AvonLaker1234 March 03, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Perhaps it time you move?

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