Ashland Budget Update: Property Tax Increase Not A Compromise But A Betrayal of Citizen Trust

On June 5, the Budget Committee voted 9 to 4 to approve the budget and NOT to increase the property tax.

On June 20, the City Council voted 4 to 2 to INCREASE our property tax to its maximum.  Never has a City Council rejected the recommendation of the Budget Committee.

On June 30, the City Council voted 4 to 3 (the Mayor broke the tie) to INCREASE the property tax 4.5 cents and not 9 cents to pay for a new police officer or two.  Two citizens on the Budget Committee who voted for the budget and NO INCREASE in taxes on June 5, testified at this meeting saying they would not have voted for the budget had they known that the Council was going to reject their Committee’s recommendation and increase the property tax.

When you read how the staff and council are marginalizing the seven citizens who are by state law “citizen eyes” on the budget and its process, you have to wonder about this “grab” for power in our city.

These decisions by City Councilors and the Mayor are simply a betrayal of citizen trust.