Did you know that the City of Great Falls is spending Great Falls taxpayers money to promote a ballot measure to, wait for it…get more of Great Falls taxpayers money!
The Great Falls Parks and Recreation Department’s yearly Summer Guide, paid for with our tax dollars, came out today in the Tribune and last week at various locations and it was filled with “information” about the new proposed consolidated Park District tax which will be on the ballot this May, including warnings of the dire consequences if voters don’t vote in favor of it and a big, red “VOTE MAY 8, 2018”.
In addition, city staff, paid for by our tax dollars, has been busy with “informational” presentations and flyers and meetings with Mayor Kelly and others. Your city government has been using its resources and moolah, our tax dollars, to promote the Park District plan. And the cost of that plan to taxpayers?:
“The cost of the proposed improvements for the district is $1.5 million annually for the first three years; the assessment method will be based on taxable value; the estimated 2018 assessment for a property with a 2017 Market Value of $100,000 would be $22.92 per year ($1.91/month). The amount of the assessment can be adjusted annually and must be set by resolution and adopted by the City Commission.” – (emphasis added) https://greatfallsmt.net/recreation/great-falls-park-district-number-1
This expenditure of your money by the city in a campaign to get more of your money is made possible because the City of Great Falls formed an Incidental Political Committee registered with the Montana Office of Political Practices for the purpose of influencing the May election in favor of the Park District levy. The City of Great Falls Incidental Committee lists Melissa Kinzler as Treasurer. Ms. Kinzler is also the Director of Fiscal Services for the City of Great Falls.
It appears that so far the city has spent $6052.78 to promote the Park District plan to get more of our money. Here is a detailed accounting.
This kind of stuff shouldn’t surprise anyone here. Remember last year when the city spent $16,403.35 (not including labor cost) on a full color fancy brochure mail insert promoting the Park District levy which they included with the tax levy protest form! You can’t make this stuff up.
So even though they are not explicitly declaring “VOTE YES FOR THE PARK DISTRICT” in their “informational presentations”, which would not be permitted even under the label of an incidental committee, the City of Great Falls is nevertheless promoting a big new local tax and they are using your tax dollars to do it.
“So even though they are not explicitly declaring “VOTE YES FOR THE PARK DISTRICT” in their “informational presentations”, which would not be permitted even under the label of an incidental committee, the City of Great Falls is nevertheless promoting a big new local tax and they are using your tax dollars to do it.”
Are you okay with that? We’re not.