Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Ott's Stealth Tax Hike
"Lower taxes, less spending. That's isn't a slogan, it's my record!"
Quite the opposite. Ott's so-called reform team has amended the 2014 budget submitted by County Executive Croslis and will vote on that tonight. It is now their budget. It is expected to pass with at least five votes (Ott and his block). So let's see how the budget for 2014 (that Ott will vote for) stacks up against his campaign promises.:
Does it reduce spending?
No. The amount of County spending covered by property taxes that Ott will approve for 2014 is $110.9 million. This is up from $108.8 million for this year (2013) and is also up from $109.3 million for 2012, which he used as an excuse to ride Dean Browning out of office. At that time, Ott promised to "not just slow the growth in spending but to actually reduce spending."
Funny thing. For two years straight, then Commissioner Dean Browning and then Exec Don Cunningham Cunningham really did reduce spending. All of that will be undone tonight with Ott's 2014 budget.
It will be an all time high for County spending.
So Ott's robocall is deceptive. It is certainly not telling voters the truth.
Does it reduce taxes?
Once again, No. Every single taxpayer will pay more next year than they do now. It's a stealth tax hike.
You see, this year's budget includes a credit of $3,500,000 ($21.82 per taxpayer). Next year's does not. Lehigh County taxpayers will have to dig into their pockets for $3,500,000 more to pay their tax bill in 2014.
So not only has Ott not kept his promise from 2011 to eliminate the 16% tax increase, he has actually increased taxes.