To the editor:
The Tiverton Budget Committee and the citizen whose alternate budget proposal will appear on the Tiverton Financial Town Referendum ballot next week both agree that we, as a town, should increase our spending a small amount next year. The budget committee recommends we pay for that increase in spending by raising property taxes 1.29%. The citizen petitioner wants us to pay for that increase in spending by taking $600,000 out of the town’s savings account, or general reserves.
The problem with spending more money on normal, recurring expenses than we earn – or in the case of a town, take in – is that in a year or two our savings will be gone. At that point, our choices will be either to approve a big tax hike or to drastically cut services, scenarios most of us would like to avoid. In addition to that, we will be left with little or no savings to pay for the things savings actually should be used for: one-time major expenses, such as septic systems, or unexpected emergencies, such as repairing hurricane damage.
So ask yourself: Would you rather accept a small tax increase of 1.29% to pay for new spending, or use up our limited savings and ignore the problems that would create for us tomorrow?
I’d rather be the proverbial ant instead of the grasshopper. Please vote for Budget #1 on Tuesday, May 20.