|Documents/RRSD/7: Jobs-Friendly Policies|
City government should be a help – not a hindrance – to job creation and retention in our region through small businesses assistance programs and development programs targeting four core sectors (Tourism, Defense, High Tech, and Clean Tech)
The condition of our local economy is interrelated with the City’s ability to restore its financial health. The city’s top three revenues come from sales tax, property tax, and hotel (TOT) tax. The recession had weakened revenues from sales tax and hotel taxes – as individuals and businesses throughout the country restrict their spending and travel. Further, the downturn in the housing market has impacted the City Outlook on property tax revenues. The Roadmap to Reform emphasizes a strategy for adopting jobsfriendly policies to encourage the creation and retention of jobs in our region. The City should approach every decision with some basic questions in mind: Does this policy make our market more or less attractive to private investment? Since time is money, and uncertainty creates risk, does this policy or process take longer than it should com pared to other jurisdictions? Does this policy or process impose more burdens on families and businesses – increasing the cost of living or operating a business in the city? Unfortunately, the City Council has adopted or signaled its intention to adopt several “job killing” policies. The downtown Planned District Ordinance (PDO) would chase away investment in hotels – significantly under cutting our potential for increased hotel tax revenue. A proposed hindrance (arguably a de facto ban) on “big box” stores threatens to chase some of the largest generators of sales tax revenues outside the city limits – transferring large sources of sales tax generation to neighboring jurisdictions. Instead of increasing tax rates and fees (e.g. fighting for more share of a static-sized pie), the City should examine ways to help foster economic growth (e.g. receiving more revenues from our existing share of an ever-growing economic pie).
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