The Bluegrass Institute for Public Policy Solutions commends the members of the Louisville Metro Council who voted 15-11 against Mayor Greg Fischer’s proposed tax increase Thursday night for making a clear bipartisan statement that the way for government to address its fiscal challenges is by tightening its fiscal belt rather than increasing the burden on taxpayers.
“Kentucky families must deal with their budget shortfalls by cutting spending and living within their means; this local government must do the same,” Bluegrass Institute president and CEO Jim Waters said.
“To all those city workers who took to the streets in favor of this tax increase out of concern they may lose their jobs if it failed to pass, we suggest you consider protesting the frivolous spending of your hard-earned tax dollars by this city in the form of goodies like corporate welfare for Hollywood filmmakers, money-losing sports arenas and shabby, costly construction on government-owned broadband networks,” Waters added.
Council members who stood up for taxpayers: Jessica Green, D-1; Keisha Dorsey, D-3; Donna L. Purvis, D-5; Paula McCraney, D-7; Kevin Kramer, R-11; Mark H. Fox, D-13; Cindi Fowler, D-14; Scott Reed, R-16; Marilyn Parker, R-18; Anthony Piagentini, R-19; Stuart Benson, R-20; Robin Engel, R-22; James Peden, R-23; David Yates, D-25; Brent Ackerson, D-26.
Fischer, who said the tax hikes were needed to cover a $35 million shortfall, praised “the courage” of council members who voted for these tax hikes. Waters said courage was on the side of those who stood up for taxpayers.
“It’s much easier to grab taxpayers’ wallets than to do the hard work of prioritizing spending,” Waters said. “But just like Kentucky families must make sure the essentials get paid before the extras, our political representatives to make some tough decisions that may upset some group coming to City Hall with their hands out but will protect and serve taxpayers.”
He also notes that the city’s shortfall is being blamed on rising public pension costs.
“Seven years ago, when the Bluegrass Institute began working to develop commonsense solutions to the crises facing our public retirement systems, we warned this day would come – when trying to fund overly generous pension benefits would begin to crowd out funding for other government services and force tough decisions,” Waters said. “The only way for Louisville to fix its budget is to do what Frankfort must do if it wants to fix our pension systems: prioritize spending and cut wasteful projects, incentives and other handouts.”
Contact Bluegrass Institute president and CEO Jim Waters at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @bipps.