For full disclosure, I have to tell you that to give this tax money to charity, I not only have to take it from you, I also have to take it from some city department. Parks and Rec, for example, does not have enough money to maintain or enhance the parks. The streets are falling apart. The list goes on. Our city manager has described the problem as, “We continue to be in a position where we still can’t take care of what we have.”
The charities that I am talking about and the amounts are in the box next to this column. These are the current fundings in the current budget that was in place right before I took office.
The question is – are these fundings going to continue in 2013? Should they be kept, deleted, increased, decreased – some or all?
Is it the city’s role to use tax money to fund local charities? I campaigned for this office with a motto of back to basics: giving core services top priority. We used to have a City Council member who would ask, in regard to nearly every issue and expenditure, “Is this part of city government?” The issue is not whether these are good causes. The issue is whether I can take money from you and give it to them. We will be having at least one City Council meeting to address the funding of these agencies in the next month or so.
On a related note, should the city fund the 4th of July fireworks ($20,000) and the Pine Cone Drop fireworks ($3,800) and the Route 66 Car Show ($3,800)? Where do we draw the line when it comes to spending tax dollars you are required to give the city?
Finally, let me point out that the agencies in the box and referenced above are funded from general funds. There are also many agencies involved with arts, music, and science that receive funding from the BBB tax. That’s a subject for another column. FBN
Flagstaff FY 2012-13
|FUSD Grad Night||$745|
|Weed & Seed||$5,503|
|Coalition for Children & Youth||$19,669|
Written by Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours