David Smith wants to raise your taxes. Yes, the same David Smith who wants to cut your taxes. And the same David Smith who has no problem giving away millions of dollars of your tax money to subsidize private businesses like the National Football League, the Professional Golfers Association, the Scottsdale Cultural Council, and polo matches promoted by Mayor Jim Lane’s campaign PR manager, Jason Rose.
Not a week after the city council entertained and then rejected David Smith’s proposal (repackaged from late councilman Tony Nelssen) to create a sales tax exemption for food sales,
Councilman David Smith said the city’s needs are urgent. Waiting a year would lead to higher costs because of inflation, he argued,
according to an AZ Central recap of the renewed bond (borrowing and taxing) proposals that the citizens soundly rejected a year ago.
The new proposal floated by staff (with strong support from faux-Republican Virginia Korte, among others) is down from almost a quarter of a billion dollars to $173 million. Council observers can easily divide these into three categories:
- Projects that SHOULD have been done via our Capital Improvement Projects fund, which Jim Lane and the City Council chronically short-funded for the last ten years while they were giving money away to cronies. Examples: $12.5 million for “deteriorated [street] pavement replacement,” and about $30 million in public safety-related spending, among others.
- Make-work projects for council campaign contributors who are in the construction business and the liquor industry. Examples: $14 million for a bar district parking garage, and a good portion of the “transportation improvement” projects.
- Outright subsidies like the $13.5 million Crossroads East “regional flood improvements” item. This same item was labeled “neighborhood flood control” within the bonds on the last ballot. City staff dropped that moniker completely when yours truly pointed out that there is no existing neighborhood on that proposed development. This is purely a bailout for the developer who can’t build in a newly-designated (by the feds and county) flood plain.
To repeat, the Republic (AZCentral) reports,
Councilman David Smith said the city’s needs are urgent.
If these items were so urgent as to require bond financing, i.e., borrowing and additional taxes to pay off the borrowing, then why didn’t the then-city treasurer David Smith (yep, same guy) complain about it before he decided to run for a council seat?