There is a deficit between projected revenue compared to expenses. One of the biggest expenses, and one that grew this year and is projected to grow in the coming years many times higher than inflation, is the cost of MCSO and Rural/Metro Fire.
At the April 18 Town Council meeting, they voted 6-1 for a public safety fee to tackle this issue. This seems reasonable, in order to balance the budget for this year and perhaps the next couple of years. However, I have a problem with this fee – it is never scheduled to go away or sunset.
First, there is discussion of possibly looking into replacing the Rural/Metro Fire service with one that is in house. Next, there is discussion of possibly replacing MCSO with collaborating with neighboring communities for law enforcement. While it is too early to determine whether those possibilities will financially pan out, the fact that they are being examined should be enough to consider the fact that expenses in the future for these services may not increase at the current rate they are, which is the reason for the public safety fee existing in the first place.
In addition, there is perception that there is wasteful spending by the town on unneeded projects. I do not feel qualified to comment on that, but there is a perception of that. When citizens voted down a primary property tax last year by a 2-1 margin, I believe that a requirement of $185, never scheduled to sunset, is an unwise method to increase revenue.