Mayor Beutler is once again calling on the City Council to override a state mandated spending limit for the City of Lincoln. This is the eighth time since Beutler has been mayor that he has asked the City Council to vote to exceed such a limit.
The Lincoln Independent Business Association (LIBA) believes it is important for the citizens of Lincoln to understand three things regarding this issue:
1) The city has improperly reported votes by our City Council to the state as approval to exceed our spending limit, when in fact, those votes failed to do so. State law requires that 75 percent of City Council members must vote to override the spending limit. We commend City Councilwoman Cyndi Lamm for raising awareness that in two years, the vote achieved fewer than six votes, which does not constitute the 75 percent majority of the seven council members needed. It is clear that Lincoln has not acted in accordance with state law. LIBA calls on the administration to work with state officials in correcting these errors.
2) The Beutler administration has raised your taxes several times in the past 10 years. Wheel tax increases, property tax increases, suing the City Council to force more spending, using some of this year’s property tax windfall, the new electricity tax disguised as a dividend, and adding another $40 million to the City’s debt without a vote of the people were not enough for this Mayor. Now, the Mayor is again trying to force City Council members to vote to increase spending.
3) Last night, the Mayor clearly threatened the City Council by telling them if they do not support this spending limit override, they will be blamed for cuts to the most popular city programs. This is the same hysteria the city administration has used before when faced with trying to limit city spending. The fact is that cuts to those areas do not need to happen to keep the city in compliance with budgetary restrictions. There are other, less popular and less necessary programs the city could cut without punishing the citizens of Lincoln. But the Mayor has chosen to scare Lincolnites into thinking that raising the spending limit is the only way for our city not to be ruined.
LIBA asks the citizens of Lincoln to push back. Good fiscal common sense can solve this problem, and the Beutler administration should not treat the citizens of Lincoln like a bottomless pile of cash.
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