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Unwanted $50+million Verde Connect increases tax bills despite pandemic

Sedona AZ – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Below is a letter … it affects the entire county. With the added financial problems of COVID-19.

Dear Editor,

I wrote last year that the Verde Connect project, which will cost 50+ million dollars plus ongoing maintenance, is too expensive for our county. We recently bonded a jail expansion with resulting tax increase. They plan to bond this, expect more taxes. It adds $1,150.00 of debt per average household. Plus interest of course.

With the added financial problems caused by COVID-19 this is not just a bad idea, it is insane. Common sense or reading the news will tell you that all counties in the country will be short of funds – the hardest hit are FL and AZ.

Here is what we can expect: Reduced highway funds because people are driving less and hence lower gas taxes; reduced property taxes as real estate values are falling; reduced sales taxes as businesses are shuttered; reduced income tax sharing as people are not working and business is closed. We can expect Yavapai County to have a serious revenue reduction this year. In addition to reduced revenue, there will be expanded costs – costs for PPE, costs for lost work, cost for technology, school lunches, social distancing and more.

COVID-19 cannot be ignored – yet the county supervisors currently within the budget process ignored COVID-19 entirely through March. However salary and employment “adjustments” appear to be on the table (which means firing people or paying them less).

And I cannot think of anyone that wants higher taxes at any time – but especially now. Especially for a road project that benefits few (if any) in Yavapai County and is opposed by the locals.

Thanks,

Eric S Eberhard
Save the Middle Verde (Facebook Group)

(SedonaEye.com editor: Please see supporting Verde Connect article dated March 24, 2020 below:

Verde Connect Project: Build or No-Build Public Comment Period Opens Soon)

 

2 Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    First voice of common sense and financial responsibility heard on this subject. Appreciate your trying to get the sheep to listen, sir.

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