While checking some of the Town of Apple Valley’s claims about needing to increase taxes via Measure O, I came across some interesting information: The Town is already planning how to spend the additional money they hope to get from us.
For example, employee compensation will be going up 9.6% next year. That’s almost a million dollars out of the 6-7 million they hope to get from raising our taxes. You know how they say they cut staff and cut salaries? Not so much, it appears.
Other big gainers next year are Contract and Professional Services, with $900K more for the Engineering, $900K more for the Sheriff Department, $463K more for Apple Valley Choice Energy, $300K more for other Contract Services, $100K more for Innovation & Technology (who knew Apple Valley even had such a department?), $67K more for Code Enforcement, $65K more for Planning & Community Development, $36K more for the Animal Shelter, $29K more for the Golf Course, $13K more for VVEDA Retirement (after a 1,700% increase this year), $12K more for Economic Development, $10K more for Community Development Block Grant, and $10K more for General Government. And these come after a $5,785,935 bump this year just for Contract and Professional Services.
Adding up just these increases, you get almost $3 million in new spending, leaving only half of the proposed tax increase for actual improvements.
If you are wondering what the heck happened to the 2018 Town Manager’s program to cut costs by ten percent across the board, you’re not alone.
And what about the Great Leap Forward in prosperity the town was supposed to receive from helping finance the new Big Lots distribution center? Good question.
The smart money says “No on Measure Owe.”
Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.