We won’t detail the history of the lawsuit – it has been well documented in The Cadiz Record for the past six years – only to remind taxpayers that our elected officials were cautioned early on by a Circuit Judge their defense was extremely weak and the city should settle out of court.
That advice was pushed aside by the mayor and council because they apparently couldn’t bear to admit that a previous administration had made an error. That’s all it would have taken, a simple acknowledgement that a mayor and council had made a mistake and this administration was willing to fix the problem.
Apparently, however, some sort of false pride got in the way that mere citizens were not going to tell the mayor and council how to operate. One thing led to another, personal attacks began to take place and each side refused to budge.
Taxpayers have been told the legal matter began because a group of citizens in three subdivisions requested to have their roads repaired. (The audacity of these people!)
What brought the suit however, was not the refusal of the mayor and council to repair the streets in question, but to even consider placing the roads on a regular maintenance plan so they could be paved in the future.
What lost the lawsuit, however, had nothing to do with the roads. It had to do with an advertisement that would have cost the city under $50 at the time of annexation. In other words, the city violated state statutes, clear and simple.
Now that the suits have finally been settled in court – the city never won any of the major cases attached to the suit – the city had to spend its reserve funds, more than $250,000.
Not only did the city lose the tax dollars – yours and mine – it lost three of its most affluent subdivisions and a large tax base. To this date, the city has yet to file a revised budget with the state reflecting the loss of revenue. Apparently to show the state it has a balanced budget – as required by law – the additional payroll tax is planned make up the difference.
Kentucky makes it difficult enough for its working citizens to take home what they earn and we don’t think city governments should put more of a burden on their back because elected officials made bad decisions. Not just once, but over a six year period.
Prior to the city implementing the payroll tax increase it must first conduct a public hearing in order that taxpayers have a say in the proposal. We don’t know when that hearing will be held, but we’ll keep you posted.
When it is held, we would suggest that citizens – especially the working citizens - make plans to attend the meeting and express their feelings about having more money deducted from their weekly pay.
But then again, the last time a group of concerned citizens came before this mayor and council with a complaint, it cost everybody a quarter of million dollars.