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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Taxing times

Let the mayor's race begin:

“I believe that the long-term solution lies not in further tinkering with property tax schemes, but with a fundamental move away from property taxes as the dominant source of revenue for local government,” Kelty said.

Issuing his first campaign promise, Kelty said his first annual budget would reflect zero growth in city spending.

1. On the property taxes, absolutely. Decrease the property taxes, which discourage economic growth and punish those on fixed incomes, and offset with increases in sales and payroll taxes.

2. Not sure about the zero-growth promise. I like the sentiment; it's a good goal we should all hope is met. But it's one of those absolute promises people will remember, and it could create a "painted into a corner" moment, as in, "Read my lips."

A spokesman for Tom Henry responds:

Joe Fox, campaign manager for Democratic mayoral candidate Tom Henry, said Henry also is feeling the weight of property taxes as both a homeowner and business owner. He questioned how Kelty plans to keep spending level, without being specific about his plan to do so.

See No. 2 above. "Level" is one goal. "Less" is another.