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Unwanted $50+million Verde Connect increases tax bills despite pandemic

Sedona AZ – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

Below is a letter … it affects the entire county. With the added financial problems of COVID-19.

Dear Editor,

I wrote last year that the Verde Connect project, which will cost 50+ million dollars plus ongoing maintenance, is too expensive for our county. We recently bonded a jail expansion with resulting tax increase. They plan to bond this, expect more taxes. It adds $1,150.00 of debt per average household. Plus interest of course.

With the added financial problems caused by COVID-19 this is not just a bad idea, it is insane. Common sense or reading the news will tell you that all counties in the country will be short of funds – the hardest hit are FL and AZ.

Here is what we can expect: Reduced highway funds because people are driving less and hence lower gas taxes; reduced property taxes as real estate values are falling; reduced sales taxes as businesses are shuttered; reduced income tax sharing as people are not working and business is closed. We can expect Yavapai County to have a serious revenue reduction this year. In addition to reduced revenue, there will be expanded costs – costs for PPE, costs for lost work, cost for technology, school lunches, social distancing and more.

COVID-19 cannot be ignored – yet the county supervisors currently within the budget process ignored COVID-19 entirely through March. However salary and employment “adjustments” appear to be on the table (which means firing people or paying them less).

And I cannot think of anyone that wants higher taxes at any time – but especially now. Especially for a road project that benefits few (if any) in Yavapai County and is opposed by the locals.

Thanks,

Eric S Eberhard
Save the Middle Verde (Facebook Group)

(SedonaEye.com editor: Please see supporting Verde Connect article dated March 24, 2020 below:

Verde Connect Project: Build or No-Build Public Comment Period Opens Soon)

 

6 Comments

  1. Aaron says:

    First voice of common sense and financial responsibility heard on this subject. Appreciate your trying to get the sheep to listen, sir.

  2. Fed up in the Verde Valley says:

    So this road was killed by three county supervisors and the three supervisors elected in November 2020. Then one supervisor flipped and joined the outgoing leader of the five Yavapai county supervisors to resurrect the project in December 2020. The community has been told to write and rewrite letters of opposition. The community does not want this road and the excessive cost to build it. Why do we have to keep writing letters over and over? Because big money and the outgoing supervisors want it. Stop already.

  3. Sharon Clay says:

    County executives better take note. People here want to be heard like in DC they want power. Voters can remove from power and should the ones they don’t like. National news saying —— Nancy Pelosi was narrowly reelected Sunday as speaker, giving her the reins of Democrats’ slender House majority as Joe Biden readies for office. Grumbling among Democrats over her age and longevity as well as the poorest showing of Democrats elected to Congress in decades will prove issues to be overcome by a new administration elected without a clear mandate of support from American voters for its party positions, speaker and executive branch.

    Thanks for your work Erik – You rocked it.

  4. Anna Bell, Middle Verde says:

    They’re at it again. They won’t listen to the people and think they’re over us rather than representing us. Recall.

  5. steve Segner says:

    Anna Bell, Middle Verde says:
    February 6, 2021 at 7:43 am
    You say,”They’re at it again”. They won’t listen to the people and think they’re over us rather than representing us. Recall. There job is to do what is bust in there mind for the entire Verde valley not to listens a NIMBY no growth Trumpers look hard at the people that say “won’t listen to the people” same group that attacked congress same slogans.

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