Deery Brothers

Human Services Funding and Tax Incentive Giveaways

This meeting the council reviews the budget guidelines for 2014-2015 (item 38).

Many years ago the voters of Ames approved 1% sales tax referendum (see the sales tax history) directing that 60% of the sales tax goes to reduce property taxes that pay for services like roads, police and fire protection and 40% be expended on "...human service agencies, the arts, and community betterment."

This Tuesday the council sets the 2015-2016 funding levels Human Services (ASSET) . It is often tempting for city councils to use the funds earmarked for "Human Services and the Arts" on items that are traditionally paid for out of the general fund (property tax). If the health of the fund is considered an issue in the discussion, it the discussion should also cover how some local option dollars go to support items that are very justified coming from property taxes.

The idea of "community betterment" is a vague one, and council might be wise to treat its meaning conservatively, and ensure its use is not for something traditionally purchased with property taxes dollars.

The Ames City Council begins at 7:00 PM  Dec 16th.  The agenda includes: