The Newark Council Chamber was at overflow capacity and people were jamming themselves in from outside the door.
Because of the mobilization efforts in Newark yesterday and last night, TWO of the three assaults on our Action Alert were beaten back. Plus, an unexpected SNEAK ATTACK was defeated to make us 3-for-4 on the night.
A 1.5% property tax increase – DEFEATED.
- A vote to increase property taxes was unexpected and requested by Council member Margrit Hadden. “Small increases are better than a big one a few years down the road.”
- Rarely do politicians openly admit their spending addictions, outwardly plan for it, and reveal their incremental taxation strategy.
- Bad Votes: Margrit Hadden, Doug Tuttle, Polly Sierer
A 7.2% water rate hike, the third utility rate hike of the year — PASSED.
- In the face of overwhelming opposition from the crowd, three Council members and the Mayor shoved the city’s THIRD utility rate increase of the year down the throats of a room full of angry citizens.
- Bad Votes: Stu Markham, Luke Chapman, Doug Tuttle, Polly Sierer
A RAIN TAX, taking money from property owners for the rain that falls from the sky – TABLED.
- The wacky law to tax citizens for the rain that falls on their property was tabled until February 24th.
- This means that it can – and will – be back up for a vote at 7:00 PM on February 24th.
A 21% Pay Raise for Council members and 25% Pay Increase for the Mayor — DEFEATED.
- By the time this vote came up, the Council had been so beaten up by the citizens that they did not dare raise their pay.
We also learned a few more things…
- Newark Mayor, Polly Sierer, doesn’t think public City Council meetings are the appropriate place for her or the council members to answer any questions from the citizens concerning items on the agenda.
“This isn’t the place for these discussions.”
- Stu Markham revealed that the water rate hikes, rain tax and salary increases were already cooked into the 2014 budget, which was also up for a vote last night prior to any of the proposal votes.
In other words, they had already planned to spend money from laws that were not yet passed.
- And City Manager, Carol Houck, when asked why the budget was written to include taxes that were not yet passed into law:
“Because it’s always been done that way.”
Our battle against the corruption in Newark has just begun, but skimming the surface with these victories was a good start.
Last night shows that when we are able to mobilize and have the resources we can beat anti-liberty legislation–even in one of the most liberal municipalities in the state.
The next Newark Council meeting is in two weeks.
We’ll keep an eye out for what gets on the agenda.
Is your town flirting with taxing the rain?
Are they trying to pass creative taxes as “storm water assessments?”
Let us know! Reply to this email or call us at 302-729-2178.
We’ve stopped the Rain Tax for another day and got a few more politicians on the record with their bad votes.
Thanks for all of your help.
Chairman, First State Liberty PAC
P.S. We packed the room to overflow capacity in Newark Monday night!
Three out of the four bad proposals were either tabled or totally defeated!