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Green Bay City Council Understands Need For Revenue

August 21, 2016

I want to sincerely applaud the thoughtful people on the Green Bay City Council, and their mayor who cast the tie-breaking vote that killed a plan to give $2 million in excess stadium tax money to property owners.  This past week in a remarkable showing of long-range thinking that council voted to direct the money to public projects, including streets, parks and sewers.

There had been a proposal to send a rebate check to property owners which would have totaled about $80 to $90 per person.

There is no denying money sent back in such a small amount would not have produced any ‘bang for the buck’.  A couple meals out, or a few fill-ups at the gas station and the money would have been spent.

But taking the full amount and investing it into a project that would benefit the entire city allows for a much more reasonable way to make revenue work for the citizenry as a whole.   Some on the council correctly argued that using the money for projects that increase the city’s tax base would have longer-term benefits.

The reason I wanted to post about this council action is because I am aware too often that I write about things of which I disagree.  I really am a very positive and optimistic person but too often that side is not reflected on this blog.  This story is something which shows how doing the right thing, even in the face of the usual blowback, deserves public praise.

This action from Green Bay is the type of real policy thinking that needs to come from more units of government.  The idea that there is never to be any new tax hikes or ways to reap revenue is a most absurd and untenable position from which to govern.  For far too long there has been a line of rhetoric that cutting government is the only way to move a nation, state, or city forward.  We have seen the limits and pure folly of such a political argument both nationally and locally.

Over the past several decades we have heard far too many politicians who have wanted us to believe that low taxes are good, and more public spending is bad.  The fact is when horrible events befall our nation, from hurricanes to failing bridges, dilapidated schools, or lack of health care it proves that we do not have the needed revenues required to build an adequate social service network and national infrastructure.

Those who study budgets for the cities where we live can attest to the fact more revenue is required to meet the needs of the citizenry,  The political rhetoric from some this election season does not the match the reality of the need for government programs and services.  There is definitely a need for more revenue and a renewed understanding as to why that is so.  This idea has long been one of my foundational issues when it comes to talking about government and politics.

So when I read how the Green Bay City Council acted in a most appropriate way to use excess funds to further grow their tax base I did a hand clap over the newspaper.  I nearly knocked over my coffee cup in the process, but I rarely read such an admirable action of this kind.

  1. August 22, 2016 12:36 PM

    As a home owner in Green Bay I was 100% against returning that money as a property tax rebate. What they should be using that money for is building a new downtown multipurpose baseball stadium that has been needed for a very long time.

  2. Mark E. Bye permalink
    August 22, 2016 9:10 AM

    Bravo! (…but now watch and wait for the requisite mayoral recall campaign!)

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