This is the first in what will be a regular column on E-City Beat in which I will attempt to debunk some of the rumors, urban myths, misinformation, and flat-out bunk making the rounds in Great Falls on social media, information/news outlets, and ‘word on the street’.
We’ll start with the recent local rumor that goes something like this, “The City is going to try to raise our property taxes 191% in a safety levy!”
The fact is that the Great Falls City Commission asked our city administration to gather information from our police, fire, and municipal court departments on their staffing and infrastructure needs going forward.
The result was a set of “good, better, best” funding amounts to start the discussion for a potential public safety levy next year.
Here are the three levels of potential funding presented to the commission:
GOOD: $10M – $12M
BETTER: $22M – $25M
BEST: $33M – $36M
If the “best” amount were to be put to voters via a public safety levy the increase to local property taxes could be as high as 191%.
Also, if scientists come up with an affordable hair growth pill next year I could once again have a full, luxurious head of handsome wavy curls on my head.
That’s “if” and “could”, not “when” and “will”.
There is no proposal to raise our property taxes 191%. There are only discussion starting points and data points for consideration and public input.
If and when the voters are presented with a public safety levy to adequately fund our cops, courts, and firefighters it will only be after thorough public vetting and discussion.
The “they’re raising our taxes 191%” is a false alarm. The City is not doing that, rest assured.