Arguing for lower taxes Mark Nelson of Opt4Better.org presented Scott County residents, and elected officials a series of suggestions he believes will offset a trend of rising property taxes that have come at a time when inflation and the national economy has been relatively stagnant. Nelson says if politicians truly want to fight rising taxes in Scott County they should mandate a series of furlough days for upper level leaders. They should also do away with municipal services that can be handled by private industry, things like city run golf courses, or garbage pickup, nelson adds that one of the biggest things that can be done to bring union benefits under control.
“The benefit packages and the retirement packages they’re out of line with the private industry and those need to be brought back in line. We’re not anti-union in any sense we just want to see fairness,” says Opt4Better’s Mark Nelson.
This morning’s proposals were met with a degree of disapproval by municipal leaders. Davenport alderman Bill Edmund says when it comes to union bargaining the problem isn’t here in Scott County, it’s in Des Moines.
“If we can’t negotiate public employees’ pensions then our hands are tied and I’m not passing the buck. I’d like to be able to negotiate them, but by law I cannot,” says Edmund.
“The rules are crippling as the elected officials were clear to point out. They’re mandated and they’re crippling to local economies,” added Nelson.
Opt4Better has created a petition in hopes of holding all politicians, local and state, accountable for the growing tax burden that’s being placed on area property owners.
“Until that happens those politicians, no matter how much they cry about the state mandating things they’re the ones who set the tax rates. They’re the ones who hire the employees. They’re the ones who hand us the bills.”
Mark Nelson and the Opt4Better leaders say their suggestions are directed at all governments in Scott County not just Davenport leaders.