I read the article on the State of the City address in The Downey Patriot last week and I checked to see if the City Council’s proposed increase in sales tax was covered. Mayor Saab spoke to a “strong” and “fiscally sound” budget that is over $160 million. I expect the council and city manager to use that budget effectively and efficiently to fund city expenses.
However, the city paid a San Francisco firm $83,000 out of that budget to “explain” to us Downey citizens why we should vote on the November ballot to pay more taxes to fund street expansion, Downey Police, etc. I participated in the recent survey conducted by the firm regarding residents’ support of this. I found it was skewed as they asked similar questions over and over to favor support of the tax increase.
It seemed as if it went like this: Are you concerned with safety? (Yes!), Do you support Downey police? (Yes!), Then you support a tax increase? (No!) At one confusingly worded question, I had to stop the surveyor and ask: Is that question saying I support a tax increase because if it is my answer is NO!
My focus is providing for my three children and every penny counts. I do not want to pay more to shop in the city that I live in. If the budget is “strong” then the city council should keep it strong by scrutinizing every expense, cut back on excess and divert funds to Downey Police and Fire Department. Repair should be done on the worst streets but some work may have to wait.
I don’t believe the answer to increasing Downey revenue is to tax me more because I will shop here less. The city council is promoting a better “quality of life” but increasing taxes does not.