It has been said "You get what you pay for," but when it comes to Macedonia's Issue 3, city residents won't have to pay.
Issue 3 is a 0.5 percent, continuous income tax increase that, if approved May 2, includes a refund mechanism for residents, who would not owe the city of Macedonia more than the current tax rate of 2 percent.
Non-residents who work in the city -- many of whom are already paying their own communities 2.25 percent -- would pay the full 2.25 percent tax, which is expected to generate around $2 million per year.
The city administration and a majority of city Council say that increased revenue is the only way to pave roads, do other maintenance and meet operational needs -- including a long-standing annual subsidy of the Macedonia Family Recreation Center.
They say that without more revenue, the recreation center will be forced to close in about 18 months when its fund runs dry. The fund had been supported by a 0.25 percent income tax which was used to build and subsidize recreation for 20 years. That tax expires in June.
Without the passage of Issue 3, the city's tax rate will thus drop to an unsustainable 1.75 percent.
The administration and Council majority has promised, repeatedly and with emphasis, that dozens of roads will be fixed if Issue 3 is approved.
Regarding the recreation center, it has been suggested that there may be a way to cut its annual deficit of $350,000 -- except mayoral administrations and city Councils have been trying to make the facility profitable ever since it opened nearly two decades ago. The bag of tricks to make that happen is empty.
What the city needs is a bag of money, because in addition to losing around $900,000 per year when the 0.25 percent tax expires, state funding has been cut around $550,000 per year and overall tax revenue has been in decline.
Where would the money come from? Officials say a non-resident earning $40,000 per year would pay $8.33 per month more if Issue 3 is approved.
In addition to restarting the city's road maintenance and repair program, approval of Issue 3 would enable the city to work on storm water issues and avoid cuts in services for low-income senior citizens. Other proposed cuts would be avoided as well: Snow plowing would not have to be limited and the city would be able to celebrate the summer season with its annual festival.
The figures, and the choice, is clear.
The city must replace revenue from the expiring 0.25 percent tax to at least maintain services and keep the recreation center open. Meanwhile, the city needs added revenue to have any kind of road maintenance and repair program.
We urge Macedonia voters to look after their best interests and approve Issue 3 on May 2.