Councilman Randy Christian Talks Tax Increase and City Budget
Friday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin Lubbock City Councilman Randy Christian joined Dave and Matt to talk about his town hall meeting, the topics of the previous night's city council meeting, and more.
Last night was the shortest city council meeting that has occured since Randy joined the council, but they were still able to cover several topics. The big topic seemed to be the tax increase as the city figures out what the budget for next year. Randy was asked if there was anywhere to cut city spending and stop raising taxes, to which he replied, "If we were not to raise that property tax by that one dollar per hundred, we would have to cut the budget by 1.4 million dollars. Where would you like us to cut it?" He went on to say,
"We're looking at things to do. But, I will tell you, I understand what you're saying, but over the time that I've looked at it, there's a lot of needs."
The councilman was also asked about the approximately 3% increase in city employee salaries despite the tax increases. Randy said, "I think that we have to be competitive as far as salaries for employees." Randy also said that just property taxes alone do not even cover the expenses of the police department, and with the growth of the city, and the need for public safety, we can't risk cutting funds there, saying, "It costs a lot of money to run a city. It particularly costs a lot of money for a city that is growing the way we are." Despite citizens apparent disapproval for tax increases, Christian said that only two citizens showed up last night to voice their opinion.
Other topics of discussion last night were the cities efforts to pay off debt, the Texas Department of Transportation giving the city $200,000 for Citibus to try to modernize its model, be more efficient, and figure out if we have too many or too few routes. Additionally they discussed upgrades and improvements to the Lubbock Preston Smith Airport, which will be mostly self funded, and the continued plans with smart meters, which will help the city and citizens track their usage.
Watch the full interview with Randy Christian in the video above.