Thursday, June 9, 2016

Lisbon’s "Good Old Boys" are bringing Lisbon to its Financial Knees. ------------ by Joe Hill

Many in Lisbon have the mistaken idea that the local government or Town Manager shape Lisbon’s future. Nothing could be further from the truth.  The real power in Lisbon is a group of  more affluent residents and business people that share a common vision for the future.

These people often run things from behind the scenes. They make deals among themselves and unite to accomplish a common goal. These people are very patient.  If residents aren’t initially receptive to their  ideas they will put the idea on the back burner and bring it up again in a couple years for another try. The route 9 zoning change is a good example of this patience. 

Another tactic Lisbon’s elite/government use is confusion. They know that most taxpayers are too busy trying to make a living to spend their valuable time trying to understand all the intricacies of complicated municipal changes.  A good example of this was seen at a recent Town Council Meeting when the county tax was subtracted from our total budget to give the impression our budget was less that it really was.  

Have you noticed that this years budget negotiations are progressing rather quickly with little argument? Have you noticed this years Schools Budget was approved by the Council even though it is hundreds of thousands of dollars higher than last years budget?  The town side of the budget was also raised by a similar amount even though we were told we would be saving money by eliminating the Police Lieutenant‘s position.  It is almost as if  both sides aren’t worried about this years tax increase.  

This will be the first year that our tax revaluation goes into effect. By using 100% valuation instead of last years 87% valuation figure we should be reducing our tax mil rate by an inverse amount. Remember our taxes are a function of both valuation and mil rate. 

This years tax revaluation is a good example of a confusing situation that could be used as an excuse for a tax increase.Is Lisbon's elite planning on blaming this years budget increase on the tax revaluation?

One thing we should keep in mind is that by going to 100% valuation we increase the amount of the homestead deduction. That given and everything else equal we should see a slight tax reduction not an increase.  It appears to me that our Elite see that money as free money for their own projects.

Don’t be duped by the confusion.  Let your Councilors know you are looking over their shoulders and will be holding them accountable for their deeds.

Joe Hill

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