We Need New Revenues

So, I’ve laid out the paving, parks, neighborhoods, and beautification numbers and it’s a whopping $3.8 million per year, every year, more than we had in 2015.   We know what we need, now let’s start thinking about how we get from here to there by 2020.

When I approached this, I wanted to create a mathematical model that made it possible to reach our $3.8 million new revenue goal by 2020.  If we can do that, we can pave and do all the other stuff each year that we need in a sustainable fashion.

So here’s how I got from here to there.

What if, by 2020 we could accomplish the following:                                    Annual Increase

1,400 New Full Time Equivalent Retail/Service Jobs averaging $10/hr.           $509,600

350 New Full Time Positions averaging $50,000 per job                                      $306,250

600 New Full Time Positions averaging $40,000 per job                                    $420,000

425 New Families Moving to Middletown averaging $40,000/House             $297,500

Property Taxes Restored to Prerecession Levels by 2020                                    $750,000

Assess for Electricity for Public Street Lights                                                         $800,000

Pay off the Debt on the Downtown Mall in 2019                                                   $800,000

Total New Revenue:                               $3,883,350


Let’s get the easy two out of the way.   We deconstructed the downtown mall about 17 years ago.  We borrowed money to pay for the project.  Each year since then we have been paying over $800,000 a year out of the general fund to retire the debt.  The final payment on the bond is due in 2019, which means that in 2020, that $800,000 annual payment can be redirected to paving and other needs.  No one has to do anything or pay anything new, just let the bond get paid off and that money frees up in 2020.

The property tax goal is to restore property tax receipts to pre-recession levels by 2020.  That doesn’t mean I intend to raise the rates you pay on property taxes.  We can get there in two ways.  First, I hope as the city continues to improve, that existing property values start creeping up again, meaning your homes finally start increasing in value.   That’s good for you and generates a small piece of this overall goal.  The second piece is based on the new jobs and families.  As we build power plants like NTE ($600+ million) and Nicholas Place Apartments on Towne Boulevard and add new economic development projects to meet our job and family goals, the new property taxes generated by those projects, should, over the next five years, get us back to pre-recession levels, which is all that we need in this model.

There has already been a misleading article in the Journal News about assessing street lights.  I’ll get back to that, but for now, I’m going to start at the top and work my way down the list.  We’ll get back to street lights eventually and I’ll explain what I’m thinking and why.


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