As your City Councilman, I have never voted for a property tax increase. I shall continue my pledge when you vote to re-elect me on November 5.
When the City has requested a property tax increase, I've offered budget cuts. I'm proud to say that last year (2018/19), my cuts were approved, which resulted in a zero-percent property tax increase. (Video.)
This year, my cuts were denied. I was the only council member to vote against the 3-percent property tax increase. You'll see the effects on your property tax bill in November — after the election.
The good news is that property tax relief is coming, but we must ensure to elect true fiscal hawks to Council if you want to see such relief.
In 2021, the urban renewal agency's Downtown/Lake District closes. The effect is a boost in new-growth revenue for the City. My hope is that this revenue offsets future property tax increases, but for that to happen Council must be diligent.
At this year's budget workshop, I proposed Council draft a plan to determine how the urban renewal revenue would be allocated. My goal is to look at spending priorities with the intention of offsetting future tax increases. We can do it, but only if a plan is in place.
My fear is that Council will succumb to the desires of big government thinkers and spend the urban renewal/new growth revenue recklessly. This historical precedent hails from a dozen years ago, when new growth hit the city during the housing boom of 2006. At that time, top salaries at City Hall grew from the $70,000 to $90,000 range to well over the $100,000 mark. Spending rapidly increased. With your vote on November 5, I'll call out any attempts to overspend. And before that happens, I'll insist on a sane, transparent plan that benefits the taxpayers.
Please vote November 5th for Dan Gookin, Seat 3, Coeur d'Alene City Council.
Paid for by Dan Gookin CDA, Dan Gookin Treasurer