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Marbury: A raise in sales and property taxes is needed

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Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 5:04 PM
Sweetie Marbury

I believe in our historic town and support the brave men and women in blue who put their lives on the line every day for all of us!

I’m voting for construction, operation and maintenance of a new police station; public safety; code enforcement; street improvements, including curbs, gutters, sidewalks and alleys; and city buildings on Nov. 6.

Nineteen eighty-two was the last time the city asked residents for a property tax increase. Over the years, I voted to raise my property taxes for the fire department and for public schools.

In the 1970s, the police department remodeled the old fire department on Second Avenue and called it home. The Durango City Council wants to see more police officers hired, but there is no more room at the current site.

The police building is a maze of offices with no training area or room to grow. The police department wants your help.

The street department’s needs are outpacing the revenues to repair, to replace and to keep up with the yearly demands. I remember the bumpy potholes and the dangerous old Florida Road before voters passed the 2005 sales tax for a complete new road and library.

The city had one street project planned in the 2018 budget. The bids exceeded the money set aside, and the project was shelved.

Streets are currently paid for by sales tax revenues from the general revenue fund. The June sales tax revenue was down 5.6 percent due to the 416 Fire.

The city, as the expression states, must live within its means. The sales tax can be a dreaded roller-coaster ride for the council.

The council listened to public input on how to fund the needed facilities and infrastructure. A combination of property and sales tax increases was the answer for a stable dedicated source for the improvements.

The council listened to public input and will make cuts to programs and raise user fees to help relieve the burden from the general revenue fund.

Using the assessed value of my house, the staff projected that I would pay $13 more a month in property taxes for the ballot issues.

By raising the sales tax, everyone who travels to and shops in Durango would help pay for the essential improvements.

My mama said, “You get what you pay for.” If I don’t fix my leaky roof, then major problems are around the corner.

Are you willing to invest in needed infrastructure and in a new police station? Are you willing to invest in the future of Durango? My heart believes in the city residents!

As the mayor, I’ve walked downtown shaking hands with families from across the United States and Europe who love our town.

I say, “Thank you for coming to Durango! We appreciate you being here!” Durango, our beloved town, is admired by all. Durango needs your vote. Vote yes on 2A!

Sweetie Marbury is the mayor of Durango, a position rotating among members of city council. Reach her at SweetieMarbury@DurangoGov.org.

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