The Bright Side
The pending parking rate increase is just the current target in the city’s never ending quest to increase its revenue.
Who will financially benefit from a parking rate increase? Not tourists, not visitors, not neighboring communities, not Lake Geneva’s residents, not businesses, not the library, not the museum and not those that work, stay, live or shop in the downtown area. If the city council members disagree with the above, and they believe that raising parking rates will benefit the aforementioned, then why are they being so timid about raising parking rates? If they do not believe increasing rates will benefit those groups, then why are they raising them? After all, isn’t the purpose of government to benefit the people they serve, and not the other way around?
Governments are run by people, and like most people, they want more money to spend and distribute.
But individuals, unlike governments, can’t just increase their income by voting for it. They have to work to earn it and they have to learn to live within available means. Because cities in Wisconsin were not being financially responsible, and property taxes have been increasing beyond Wisconsin’s 2% property tax maximum, the State of Wisconsin froze the taxing rates of Wisconsin cities a few years back. With only a few exceptions, the cities in Wisconsin can no longer increase their taxing rate to get more money, although property taxes can still go up with increases in assessed property values.
So, with the City of Lake Geneva’s property tax rate being effectively frozen, the city lost the extra millions from TIF#4, and the city needed to repair the city’s neglected infrastructure. There is no doubt that the City of Lake Geneva is struggling to get its financial needs met. The struggle is further complicated by the city council’s inability to reduce spending, even where possible, which leaves them with only the option of increasing revenue to cover costs. The financial mind set of increasing revenue instead of reducing spending to balance the city’s budget seems unlikely to change, because with few exceptions, those interested in governmental issues, or being in government, are those who want something from government, and that something normally involves one of three things:
1.) Increasing government spending
2.) Increasing governmental regulations and restrictions
3.) Obtaining permission, exemption or loopholes that grant themselves or friends something not otherwise permitted or available to others.
Not one of these three groups has any interest in reducing the size, control, influence, or regulation by government over the lives of local citizens. Every one of these interests requires increasing city spending, and increasing city revenues to support the spending. So why raise parking rate to the detriment of those who live in, around or visit the City of Lake Geneva, especially when the purpose of government is to benefit the people they serve and not the other way around? Why not simply go to the citizenry with a forthright, straight from the shoulder, plan to fix things, and then a tax plan to match that cost? No?
Get ready to pay two bucks an hour at the meter, instead.
Red Umbrellas to Stay