Peyton Wants to ‘Fix It Now’
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.