‘When will the city stop reaching in my pocket for more money?’

The good thing about the 911 commission is that it distributes the costs of the 911 service more uniformly across everyone in the county. Currently everyone pays $1 per phone for the 911 equipment but Marshalltown residents pay 62 percent of the wages and benefits for the staff while the people in the county pay 38 percent. Marshalltown’s population is 68 percent of the county according to the 2010 census.

The main problem with the formation of the 911 Commission is that Marshalltown is trying to increase your taxes with it. You already pay for this service in your current property taxes. Marshalltown should simply move the money that it currently collects for the 911 service out of the General Fund and into the hands of the 911 Commission. Rather than doing this, they want to ADD a new levy (fancy name for tax) to your property and move the money that they already collect to “any legal purpose.” Does this sound familiar?

The county and other cities, but Marshalltown, want to keep the funding of the 911 commission revenue neutral and simply move the money out of its general fund and over to the new commission.

I think the county has it right. The county will be debt free this coming April, while the city goes deeper into debt — about $62 million now. The bonds that they are borrowing are guaranteed to be paid back with your property taxes. This means that they have already spent your property taxes for the next 20+ years to pay for these bonds. With property taxes at the legal maximum, the only way for the city to collect more revenue is to increase all user fees — sewer, water, storm water, local option sales taxes, franchise fees for the utility like electric, phone and TV, or add new ones like this one for the 911 Commission.

This should be a no brainer — let the 911 Commission collect the tax for its work and eliminate the need for the city and county to collect this tax, but the Marshalltown City Council wants to raise your tax bill rather than just reassign the money currently collected over to the 911 commission. When will the city stop reaching in my pocket for more money? The next meetings on the 911 Commission are Dec 14. and then Dec 27.