Tony St. Romaine’s Insatiable Lust for Other People’s Money

Columbia, Mo Mayor Bob McDavid, after some clamoring from Columbia citizens, came out in support of a 20 cent increase in personal property tax—which is another tax proposal in a seemingly never ending litany of tax proposals, the most recent of course being the 3/8 sales tax increase to pay for an $11 million 911 call center, a facility that is projected to have an annual cost upkeep of nearly $9 million—as a conduit for the hiring of an extra 35 Columbia, Mo police officers.

 

Mayor McDavid, after sensing the animus against a personal property tax increase, and noting the Columbia Police Officer’ Association’s (CPOA) assertion that a $3.5 million tax increase is simply not necessary to stem Columbia’s criminal element, made the snap quick, but perspicacious decision to split the scenery at Bugsy’s beanery; in short, he backed off of his initial support for the tax increase, breaking the news of his about-face on an August 13 Facebook post:

                 

                    “Based on comments made by the Columbia Police Officers Association, I no longer

                     support an increase in property tax to fund an increase in police staffing.”

 

One would think that the sensible minds on the City Council would follow suit, but such thoughts, apparently are unfounded. 

 

As if to buck reality, and to solidify the “most unpopular city managers in Columbia” title, Tony St. Romaine has decided to draw a line in the sand on behalf of tax increases. He is throwing his full weight and support behind the personal property tax increase. Somebody has to stick up for unwanted, unwarranted tax increases, no?

 

Romaine, some might remember, was the same city manage who backed universally disliked policies and ideas like the red light cameras, the use of $3 million in city reserve funding to buy up property for private developers (the worse kind of corporate cronyism), and the erection of an opulently expensive 10 story parking garage downtown (given the sobriquet, Garagezilla), which is more popular among those wishing to commit suicide (two people, in one year’s time, have leaped to their death off of the structure) then it is among the general public.

 

So the CPOA and the mayor are on the same side. They both believe that extra police officers, and the expense that comes with them, can easily be paid through funds filtered through the 911 sales tax and from the cutting back on overtime that current police officers receive; the increase in police force would, necessarily decrease the amount of forced overtime that police officers have to log every day, giving the Mayor and City Council the requisite money to pay for a extra police officers. 

 

The bottom line—according to Mayor McDavid, the CPOA and liberal Missourian columnist and professor George Kennedy, who oftentimes cuts vigorish on behalf of tax increases, is that a personal property tax increase is unnecessary at best, and a terrible idea at worse.

 

What is more, Romaine, and Mayor McDavid before sobering up, appears more than willing to default to the tax increase position on seemingly every issue of importance. If it is not his wanton adherence to a 911 sales tax, then it is his absolute, full-throated love for tax increases—regardless of iteration. A lover of zapping personal income from Columbians, Romaine, based on superfluous facts, is hell-bent on taking other people’s money purely for the purposes of funding future 10 story, 15 story and 20 story parking garages and 25 more red light cameras.

 

As a side note, Columbia residents are tired of the tax increases, and the rumors of tax increases. They want security and safety, but they are not willing to have their personal property or money pilfered and tossed down a cosmic bunny hole in order to keep up appearances. Give them real solutions, not reflexive tax increase proposals.

More on St. Romaine’s past antics HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE

Christopher W.

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