Budget, then tax

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, February 07, 2005

Margo Waring's recent letter to the editor (Empire, Feb. 1) held that it was interesting that the cruise industry would want to see an actual budget before they would agree to a tax increase. This is a standard in public process that is typically extended to all taxpayers.

It is fundamental in the budget process to establish a scope of work and a budget. It is not new or precedent-setting. This is exactly the method used prior to every Local Improvement District (LID) to construct local projects, and to adopt the annual city operating and capital budgets.

LID approval identifies who benefits and to what degree, and includes a scope of work and cost estimate. The city of Juneau then holds hearings with the beneficiaries and the public, distributes the costs and collects the tax.

Even our city annual budget operating and capital budget process includes months of public meetings and budget hearings, and than the assembly establishes a tax increase or decrease after additional public hearings.

Taxation without representation is a lesson of American history that should not be forgotten.

Larry Spencer


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