This month, the voters of the city of Arlington will be asked to approve Proposition 1, which would allow a property tax increase of 58 cents per thousand to better fund city services and public safety equipment for the next 10 years. They will mark their ballots and return them by April 22. This request was made necessary by a decrease in tax funds collected.
Arlington was growing in the mid-2000’s, with sales tax revenue increasing, annexations happening, houses being built and our population increasing. City government had always been careful about s pending and continued to be so. Two things happened in the latter half of the decade that put careful calculations awry and budget cutting necessary. First, the methodof collecting sales tax was changed in many instances, so that if a business in Arlington delivered construction materials outside the city limits, the government where the delivery was accepted, got the sales tax dollars. Second, the bursting of the housing bubble and the falling economy hit us. The general budget was cut drastically, and funding for all departments was cut back during the ensuing years. These cuts hurt departments across the board.
Voting for the increase will allow police vehicles with too many miles to be replaced. Voting for the increase will allow the fire department to replace apparatus, such as the 20-plus-year-old ladder truck which has a lot of trouble climbing hills. Voting for Proposition 1 will allow for continuation of essential city services. I will vote yes, turn my ballot in early and hope that my fellow voters will do the same!