Of the revenues required to pay the $218 Million (average of $43 Million per year) cost, the largest single share ($76.6 Million) is to come from a “Storm Water Utility” as stated at the end of the 3rd paragraph. There is no description of that source of funds, which could be regarded as money to be paid to the City by a utility firm similar to an electric utility.
In fact, it is a new tax that would be imposed on property in the City, but neither the term “tax” nor anything similar (“fee,” “charge”) is used to describe it.
Exhibit B – page S1 of the CIP – lists the tax revenue to be raised in the line item “Stormwater Management” and it is also listed in the discussion of Project #PW0051 at page G-SW-12 of the CIP.
The new tax does not start until FY15, so that Ireton won’t have to tell voters that it would start next year if he is reelected (and Jacob Day is elected to the City Council). It would continue at the same annual sum ($18.9 Million) for the remainder of the CIP period (5 years). So, the taxes on property would be about twice as great as they are now, even if there is no increase in the general tax rate. And, by the way, it would not be necessary to amend the city’s charter to increase the property tax rate limit, because the new tax is to be part of an “enterprise fund” scheme!
The CIP does not discuss or indicate whether the new tax would continue beyond FY18 – but when has a tax ever terminated? Nor does the Plan contain any specific detail about the use of the tax revenue, which is completely ambiguous – page G-SW-12 simply states that it “includes engineering, property acquisition, construction and maintenance costs to reduce the City’s nitrogen loading” and that those costs “were derived from a study” made by the State that does not address specific infrastructure.
Thus, there would be no accountability, and the tax revenue could be spent for anything remotely connected with the presumed purpose of the tax or simply “deemed” to be. Imagine Ireton with another $19 Million each year to squander as desired.