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Peyton Wants to ‘Fix It Now’

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Mayor John Peyton held a press conference Thursday morning at the Times-Union Center to outline his budget priorites aimed at bridging an expected shortfall of about $60 million.  The mayor is launching a campaign called "Fix It Now!" that calls for a property tax increase of 14%, millions in spending cuts, and pension reform.

"Coming from the business community, I know the number 1 killer of businesses is under-capitalization," said Peyton. 

The property tax increase would up the millage rate from 8.4 mills to 9.6 mills, meaning an additional $120 for every $100,000 of value your home has. 

"Any type of revenue increase is a tough sell," the mayor admitted.  Which is why he urged the group to "blog, tweet, facebook, however you do it" in support of the new campaign.

"We can no longer promise what no one else in America gets today," Peyton said in reference to his desire for pension reform.

When asked about the new city fees that were put into place last year, the mayor noted that he saw no chance for repeal. 

"I don't see any circumstance where we depart with them," Peyton said. 

The Fit It Now campaign has a new website at FixItNow.cc and features the following statement signed by Mayor Peyton:

Because of cuts in Tallahassee, the global economic crisis and an unsustainable pension system, the City of Jacksonville is facing a budget crisis. Addressing these issues will take leadership, broad support and a roll-up-our-sleeves approach that has defined our city’s history.

I want to live in a city that prioritizes public safety, economic development and the St. Johns River. I do not want to close fire stations, libraries, community and senior centers. I do not want to end the city’s recycling efforts. I do not want to eliminate programs for children, cultural and social services or assistance for crime victims.

To address our city’s financial crisis and ensure that critical services remain intact, I am proposing significant cuts in the government’s budget, a modest increase in property taxes and important pension reforms. Please explore this Web site for details on the city’s budget and what a modest tax increase costs the average homeowner in Jacksonville. If you don’t want to live in a city that under-invests in itself, join the Fix It Now movement and let your voice be heard.

3 Responses »

  1. You better LOOK at your public safety cost...the police and fire pensikons are going to break all the cities in the country ...just like GM we can no longer afford them and the multi million $$ stations they live in.

  2. TOO MANY YEARS OF UNINFORMED POLITICIANS MAKING DECISIONS YOU WANT PROPERTY OWNERS TO PAY FOR NOW. I SAY NO WAY LET THE CITY GO BANKRUPT . MAYOR PEYTON YOU ARE BECOMING EXACTLY AS I PREDICTED (A DEMOCRAT) THE PEOPLE CAN STAND NO MORE PROPERTY TAX INCREASES BECAUSE OF REAL POOR MANAGEMENT BY YOU AND YOUR PREDECESSORS. IT'S ALWAYS OUR OBLIGATION TO PAY WHENN THE MANAGEMENT TEAM IS A ABSOLUTE AND HAS BEEN MISERABLE FAILURE. I LAY YOU 5/1 IT WILL NEVER PASS CITY COUNCIL!!! PASS USER FEES SO EVERYONE PAYS.

  3. Peyton is using the same scare tactics used by all politicians to get the people to accept a tax increase.

    It's interesting that Peyton lists "Closing 2 fire stations" as his first cost-cutting measure.

    I submit that there are plenty of other discretionary, non-public-safety areas that could, and should, be cut first.

    One thing to realize is that there is NEVER enough money to do everything that politicians want to do. There will ALWAYS be social programs that need more funding.

    What Peyton doesn't realize (thanks to Daddy Herb), is that the average taxpayer literally cannot afford to pay more. With the new fees, and higher water, sewer and electric bills, the burden on the taxpayer is unrelenting with no relief in sight.

    The first thing Peyton should do to plug part of the gap is stop construction on the new courthouse. That would put $160 million back into the general fund immediately.