MAYOR LEWIS TO MR. COLLINWOOD: IT’S TIME FOR STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT TAXES!
FACT: The Utah Taxpayers’ Association reports that Bountiful has the 4thLOWEST rate of taxes and fees for the 50 largest Utah cities. FACT: Bountiful HAS NOT raised its property tax rate since 2000. FACT: Bountiful’s electricity rates are lower than Rocky Mountain Power’s. FACT: Bountiful HAS NOT spent $18 million on a new city hall, and WILL NOT. Why? Because of your disinformation campaign and the bitterness with which you waged it. The City Council and I decided that PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN A BUILDING. So, yes we listened! For you to continue to bemoan our decision to scrap the project without a general election vote is your privilege (though strange – since we did what you wanted us to do). But to also complain that the City Council and I don’t listen to residents is completely false, as is your claim that there’s a secret plan to bring it back. And yes, you’ve been making up your own “facts” for 18 months. FACT: For a candidate who says more money should be spent on infrastructure, YOUR STATEMENT I WILL NOT SUPPORT ANY FURTHER INCREASES IN PROPERTY TAXES OR POWER RATES DURING MY TERM IN OFFICE IS COMPLETELY IRRESPONSIBLE! (October 12, 2017) Here’s why:
In June, the City raised power rates by $2.00 per month.Why?To cover the costs of rebuilding a critical substation that delivers power to Bountiful, and replacing two critical transformers that are showing beginning signs of future failure.It takes a year for these transformers to be built, and the cost of this project is nearly $6 million.
YOUR POLICY WOULD SIMPLY LET THE POWER SYSTEM FAIL. For 18 months you have been complaining that things are falling apart, yet under YOUR policy, you would leave Bountiful residents WITHOUT POWER FOR THE FOUR YEARS OF YOUR TERM!
You want to have non-solar power customers subsidize those who can afford to spend $20,000 on solar panels by buying their solar power for twice as much as the City can buy it from other sources.The losses on that subsidy have to be paid by everyone else, or the City’s budget goes into a tailspin.You have said “everyone should have” solar panels.The loss to the City (if everyone had solar panels) is $10 million annually.
YOUR POLICY WOULD PUT THE CITY INTO BANKRUPTCY if you are not willing to raise taxes or power rates to pay for your solar subsidy. If you DON’T want EVERYONE to have solar panels, then you have established a Reverse Robin Hood rate plan that socks it to middle and lower income Bountiful residents who can’t afford solar panels.
The price of the natural gas that fuels Bountiful’s power plant (and IPP) is not subject to the Mayor’s control.We either pay the going price, or we don’t get the resource.
YOUR POLICY PUTS BOUNTIFUL RESIDENTS AT RISK OF POWER BLACKOUTS if you don’t adjust rates to pay for the costs of power.
You have complained about the tax increase levied this year by the South Davis Metro Fire Service Area, which is a regional district serving South Davis County. Bountiful City does not levy the tax. It was a unanimous vote by the County Commissioners and Mayors of the cities served by the District. I supported it. The purpose of the increase was to replace aging equipment, increase the number of firefighters from two to four per engine (to meet national safety standards), and reduce the first-responder response time for fire and paramedics from an average of six minutes to four minutes anywhere in the South Davis Area.
YOUR POLICY WOULD PUT MORE LIVES AND PROPERTY AT RISK IN EMERGENCY SITUATIONS (including the lives of firefighters). Two minutes can mean the difference between life or death, and for 25¢ per home per day. A real fiscal conservative doesn’t fund operating expenses out of one-time money that we save for capital improvement projects. Fiscal conservatism is NOT being penny-wise and pound-foolish. It’s NOT refusing to pay what it costs for the services or resources the City requires, and putting residents and firefighters at needless and dangerous risk. It’s also NOTsupporting policies that are unnecessary, but will raise property taxes 530% as your road maintenance and solar power promises will do. And yes, you really made those promises! July 17, 2017 and August 21, 2017. Your own website. I’m Mayor Randy Lewis, and I’m the ONLY genuine fiscal conservative in this race!