LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Candidate questions city spending

Last Updated on April 17, 2015 by cassnetwork

Cass County Communication Network welcomes letters to the editor and guest columns. The following Letter to the Editor was submitted by Matt Meagher, Democrat candidate for Mayor of Logansport on April 16, 2015.

meagherRecent news highlighted an important issue: the city’s dependency on consultants. Since 2012 the city has paid over two million dollars (with an additional two hundred and fifty thousand still to be paid) to consultants, with over half of that money going to the failed LMU projects. With the city’s contractual services budget more than doubling from the last budget set by the Fincher Administration, along with an increase to the Board of Works budget of over one million dollars in the same period the city’s tax rate has increased by eighteen percent since 2012.

The city is currently taxing at maximum levy; in other words, it is collecting the highest amount of property tax revenue state law allows. Yet it still has to dip into reserves to fund its spending. Simply put, the city’s spending is out of control. We have maxed out our credit card and have starting dipping into savings to keep spending.

This shift to spending money on consultants has come at the cost of spending on the city itself. Money that was previously spent on infrastructure (repaving roads as just one example), matching grants, and improving the parks has been diverted. Spending that improves the quality of life is critical to the success of Logansport.

To lower property taxes we will have to cut spending. Clearly there is money that can be saved by reigning in the contracted services and Board of Works budgets; returning just those two budget lines to the levels of the Fincher Administration would save one and a half million dollars.

This is one of the issues that hits Logansport’s middle class twice. Higher property taxes, like LMU’s high rates, costs us more to live here and makes it difficult to retain current business and attract new businesses to Logansport. The citizens of Logansport need to be able to trust that their taxes are being wisely spent. More importantly, they should be able to trust that they are not being overtaxed.

I am committed to cutting spending and lowering property taxes. If we are going to move Logansport forward, we cannot, and I will not, continue this pattern of reckless spending. We can improve Logansport and still cut taxes. Spending money wisely on quality of life issues and sensible economic development is possible, but it will take reversing the current administration’s spending habits.

Matt Meagher

Democrat candidate for Mayor of Logansport