Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Business chimes in for $1.5M budget investment in economic development commission

Waco – Members of the business community – most of them past chairmen of the Waco-McLennan County Economic Development Council – stood up for an annual $1.5 million budgetary contribution to funding the program's roughly $6.5 million fund.

One man, a member of the industrial foundation, pointed out how Caterpillar has located 4 manufacturing divisions in the local industrial park.

One may hear their comments here:

Tea Party advocates of limited government and reduced spending presented hard and fast numbers that belie the necessity for such an expense.

A large accumulation of “fluff” in unspent funds is inflating expenditures while budget totals don't reflect the true dimensions of the problem; they maintain the process lacks transparency, not only for members of the public, but for the Commissioners, as well.

These hard line conservatives may be heard here:

County Commissioners, who are headed for a showdown on the matter next week, are facing hard choices on whether to cut spending or raise taxes by about 6 percent, bumping for the first time the psychological barrier of about a nickel per $100 of assessed valuation. That would represent about $40 more in county ad valorem taxes for an owner of a $100,000 home.

Two members of the Court, Joe Mashek and Kelly Snell, are on record in opposition to the annual investment. They favor a moratorium of one year before coming back to the annual commitment first proposed by first-term member Ben Perry.

He has been absent due to an emergency surgery for a retinal tear, but he's expected back in time to cast the tie-breaking vote at budget conferences and the weekly meeting next week.

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