Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Gas tax approved

The following article appeared in the Northwest Herald. Bravo to the three Aldermen who did not raise the gas tax. Shame on those who did vote for the tax increase. Remember Harvard you will have another tax increase to face in November or next spring. District 50 will push hard to pass the referendum. This one you will get a chance to vote on. The more times a referendum is pushed on the public the more likely it is to pass. This is why you must get to the polls and vote no when and if the school referendum is on the ballot.

One last question. Will nepotism play a part in the hiring of the new position now created because of this tax increase?

Gas tax approved

[published on Wed, Aug 9, 2006]

HARVARD – "Boos" rang out from the audience Tuesday when the Harvard City Council passed a 5 percent natural-gas tax in a 5-3 vote.

"We're very, very disappointed," said Ruth McCarthy, representing a group of about 20 older Harvard residents who spoke against the tax at the City Council meeting. "I think if they would have even gone down to 1 percent or 2 percent, we could have lived with that, but to throw in that 5 percent is terrible."

The tax will increase Harvard residents' natural-gas bills by 5 percent beginning in two to three months, Harvard Mayor Jay Nolan said after Tuesday's City Council meeting.

He said the city would not receive any of the tax's expected annual revenues of $177,600 for four or five months.

Money from the tax will be used to hire a code enforcement officer, pay for more police gang enforcement, buy a piece of land adjoining Milky Way Park, and pay for tree planting and city beautification.

Aldermen Brian Leyden, Phil Ulmer and Joel Berg voted against the tax. Berg said he cast his "no" vote "with great reluctance," saying that the community likely would be "worse off" without the tax.

But he put aside his own opinion to represent the strong opposition of many of his constituents.
"I haven't gotten this many phone calls in the six years I've been on the City Council for any single issue," Berg said.

Alderman Tom Hay voted for the tax, which he said was the only way the city could raise money to pay for things that residents complained about, such as code enforcement.

"If we had gotten home rule ... we wouldn't be imposing a gas tax because under home rule, there would have been numerous other ways in which we could have generated the revenue," Hay said.

Harvard residents had voted against home rule in March with 286 in favor and 798 against.

P.S. Check out the article on Cal Skinner's Blog.

D -158 did the right thing and appointed a fiscally responsible candidate for the vacant school board position.

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