Mayor Sullivan supports Taxpayer Protection Act, encourages Assembly to place issue on the April ballot
"I recently announced my support for the Taxpayer Protection Act, a proposal introduced by Assembly member Chris Birch that would amend the City Charter to clarify how the tax cap is calculated.
The tax cap was designed to protect taxpayers from potentially dramatic swings in taxation from year to year. The Taxpayer Protection Act ensures that the tax cap's original intent is maintained and citizens are protected from a government always looking for "more." I strongly urge Assembly members to allow this critically important issue to be decided by the voters who are at government's mercy when it comes to property taxes.
The tax cap was intended to limit how much property taxes could increase from one year to the next by using a "base" to calculate the next year tax cap. For 23 years the "base" was the amount of property taxes collected the prior year, which protected taxpayers against a dramatic upswing in taxes the next year.
In 2006, the previous administration changed how the tax cap was calculated by using a higher number for the base-the amount of property taxes that could have been collected instead of the amount actually collected. Using this higher number guaranteed a higher tax cap and exposed taxpayers to the potential of dramatic increases in property taxes, which was contrary to the tax cap's intent.
The Taxpayer Protection Act clearly states that the amount of taxes collected is the base for calculating the tax cap. This means that when the amount of property taxes to be collected is less than what is allowed under the tax cap, the lower amount is used as the base.
- From 1983 to 2005, the lower amount was used as the base.
- From 2006 - 2009, the higher amount that "could have been collected" was used as the base. During these years the tax cap was artificially inflated by $76 million.
- Now the lower amount is used to calculate the tax cap.
From ATP Admin: If you are unable to attend the Feb 1 meeting, you can contact Assembly members to give your opinion. You can send one email to all assembly members at http://www.muni.org/Departments/Assembly/Documents/2010assemblycontactlist.pdf