4 Reasons to VOTE NO on Mayor Curry's Tax Proposal

June 20, 2016 54 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Arash Kamiar, MPP provides four reasons why you should consider voting against Mayor Curry's tax proposal.

Still Constrains the General Budget

Take a look at the above charts. The numbers come from an actuarial report commissioned by Jacksonville (source). It compares our current pension payment schedule to two other possible plans under Mayor Curry's sales tax initiative.

Whether the tax passes or not, the city will pay the same amount each year through 2020. Then, from 2020 - 2030 Mayor Curry's tax plan does not come anywhere near securing the required amounts. His plan only provides a dubious $56 million (scenario 2) or $68 million (scenario 3) in budgetary relief.  It's not free money, of course. The "savings" will come back to haunt Jacksonville with interest accrued vengeance half way through the plan.

Check out what happens in 2043, under our current schedule Jacksonville's payments are practically cut in half, and the pension is funded nearly 100 percent. Under Mayor Curry's tax plan, COJ's payments continue to increase, and the pension remains severely underfunded by as much as 44 percent.  Put another way, balloon payments. Mayor Curry’s sales tax proposal is not unlike a balloon payment mortgage. Smaller payments in the short term will ultimately lead to massive and unmanageable increases in the pension obligation.

Convenient for the Mayor, the report cuts off after 2045 so we do not know how large the annual payment obligation will grow from 2045 to 2060. If the annual contribution grows by 4 percent each year starting from 2045, as it does between 2036 and 2045, in scenario 2, Jacksonville will have to pay as much as $320 million by 2060.

Mayor Curry's tax does not provide any relief. Over the next 15 years, tax or no tax, the budget will still be severely constrained. If the tax passes, the smaller payments will only lead to much larger and unmanageable payments.

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