Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Repeal the Tax Hike - Stop the Tax Hike Petition Event

Last week, Columbia Borough Council voted to increase borough taxes by over 21%. Come to one of our many locations to sign our petition asking the council to call a special meeting to repeal this tax hike - or download,  sign, and return the petition:



Download and print the petition to sign and share. Return to 500 Chestnut Street by 9 a.m. Friday, December 21, 2018.

Or sign the petition at one of the following locations this Thursday at the times listed below:
  • Soukup's Automotive, 7th St - 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • 430 Linden Street - Noon-6 p.m.
  • 500 Chestnut Street - Noon-6 p.m.

The petition states:

“We, the undersigned taxpayers and/or residents of the Borough of Columbia, do hereby petition and demand that borough council hold a special meeting as soon as possible to do the following: 1.) To eliminate the $800,000 that was to be allocated to the Revolving Loan Fund in the 2019 budget; 2.) To repeal the Revolving Loan Fund Ordinance 897; 3.) To repeal the tax hike for 2019, thereby reinstating the 2019 tax rate at 6.6 Mills.”



56 comments:

  1. GREAT job let every one know....

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  2. I'm not really crazy about the tax hike and maybe less so the $800k, but I like the revolving loan fund. I know the readers here will likely bash me for this, but I see it as an important economic development tool. We have KOZs and LERTAs and such, the state rolls out the red carpet to attract Amazons, I'm ok with having some tools in our tool box to attract jobs and businesses to town. I guess another important point is that a loan is a loan, the money really isn't going anywhere. If someone doesn't pay their loan back, you always have collateral...

    I think someone said they would rather put the money into infrastructure. That's fine, not a bad idea at all. But I'm ok with the loan program too. Its a matter of preferences I guess. Its important to pave streets. I think its also important to attract jobs and new sources of revenue into town too.

    In any case, I won't be signing your petition. Maybe you should have kept it to just the tax hike. Something else to think about: You are asking them to repeal a tax hike. That will require some degree of cuts on the other end, right? If so, you are not saying what those cuts should be. What cuts are you ok with? That may make a big difference. Some folks may not like that answer. Just saying.

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    1. Over reach. Could get more signatures with just the tax hike but lumping the loan program in just doesn't make sense. This is how town's grow. Look at Lancaster City with CRIZ. That's how the Marriott is being done, the Bulova building and much more.

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    2. Wish you could have been at the meeting, Really. Maybe you would have a better understanding about the loaning of the money, the parking Garage, over spending, Hiring of people that we didn't really need. Attend the next meeting. thank You

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    3. The Marriott Hotel was paid by tax payers and other struggling businesses on the hopes of increased revenue. The Marriott has been greedy with demands. A hotel with one hundred rooms gives little impact with an already built business district.
      Columbia needs to build a thriving downtown business district to justify building a metropolis of hotels. Lancaster city has an abundance of bars, galleries, restaurants and stores. They started with a core of businesses.
      Does Lititz have a hotel built downtown? Can you bump into someone on the sidewalk in Columbia compared to Lititz? Common sense is to attract businesses with a assurance of success.
      If we had a successful Chamber of Commerce that is backed by the Borough of Columbia would be a great start for a downtown business district.

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    4. Wilbur chocolate factory???

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    5. Interesting points. Regardless of the loan programs or anything else, I do think we need a hotel and their market analysis shows as much...and, I think it would be a benefit to a core business district. Parking garage? I'm not convinced.

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    6. we have Locust st. Hotel and its historic! Nothing is getting done on this!! I thought keep the Historic down town going not putting money in NEW!!

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    7. Who is the clown that did the analysis that said Columbia needs a hotel? Who, I ask?

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    8. Hospitality Marketers International, Inc.

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    9. Thanks Cole! It would be nice to know the details of the analysis. Also would be nice to know their track record. How many analysis have they done elsewhere? What percent followed thru with their recommendation? How many that followed thru were successful vs how many failed?

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  3. No loan for that big of money that keeps getting bigger for the few!! if these people want the big loans there are BANKS out there for them!!! Lets do this right what do you think!!

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    1. My understanding is that the loans are available to anyone seeking them for their intended purpose, not the few. Also, again as I understand it, traditional bank financing packages do not always cover everything. This would be sort of a bridge to fill in gaps.

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  4. Why should are local government be in the loan business? We have banks in Columbia that must be pretty upset with this, they are going to lose getting a loan AND they have to pay higher taxes to support that loan. Maybe the banks don't care because they wouldn't allow these loans anyway. Shouldn't that tell you something about this. What if the loans don't get repaid??? Another tax hike to supply money for the fund? People are comparing states and federal agencies that provide grants and loans, please consider the size of their budget to ours. Also, just because they are doing it doesn't make it right. The government should NOT be in the loan business.

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  5. Will be out of town for the rest of the week ,anywhere to sign todayor wed am?

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    1. 500 Chestnut Street, Wednesday before 10 a.m.

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    2. Soukups automotive has one of these you could sign.

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  6. My thoughts, like them or not. We need some kind of Industry in town, where workers are paid good money, enough to buy a house and afford to fix it up. These Mom and Pop business don't generate enough money to pay workers to be able to own a home, $ 10.00 or even at $ 8.00 don't get it. The only people benefit are the Owners only if they really make it. Someone in the family makes enough with the help of the other does make it. Unless your a Nurse, Teacher, or a Business owner who pays crap to their employees,who can live and own a home on $ 400 a week. Attract companies to be here and don't give them a 10 year grace on taxes, they will move out and laugh, thank you dumb ass. Think about it the council s spending and hiring we don't need, if any hiring it should be the guys who work the streets, and Maintaining our town. You want Antique store and places to eat fine, but they don't pay enough to own Homes, The owner is if successful. No different with my business, I'd love to hire at $ 25.00 Hr. and help a family to be able to live. Enough said.

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    1. You tell me high paying jobs for a Hotel!! Get real !!

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    2. Fair point. I'd love some $25/hr jobs! The only thing is, the ENTIRE WORLD is literally competing for those $25/hr jobs. Heck, that's one reason why we don't have those kinds of manufacturing jobs here in the US anymore; its cheaper to build things elsewhere...On the other hand, most of the jobs in the US are actually found in small businesses. But, I'd love to see a factory or something come to the old air field or out at colonial metals. That's something our folks in borough hall certainly need to work on. And you know what, a small 100k loan from the borough to cover closing costs or legal fess, or something that a traditional bank-backed financing package may not cover could be what seals the deal. Who knows. Otherwise, i'll take any jobs we can get in this town. Half of loaf of bread feeds more than no bread at all!

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    3. Where did I say Hotel, we need Industry, these part time jobs are fine if someone else makes good money in the family. This is as real as it gets, Get people out of welfare, Section 8's,. Want to improve this town bring in good jobs.

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  7. Not to make light of the situation, I do realize that any tax increase is difficult on those paying it. And when you combine this with our school taxes, its even tougher. But we are talking about $120 for a $100,000 home. That's ten bucks a month. We haven't had a tax increase in a 10 years. A dollar a year is well below the rate of inflation. So while the borough's costs (health insurance, energy, contracted salaries, etc) have been increasing, they have held the line for a decade and now pass what amounts to a slight increase when considered in context. It really not a bad deal, despite the fact that tax increases are always best avoided.

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    1. There is to many borough workers thats one problem. There is to much money not helping to lower taxes! If you want to pay 10 or 20 dollars more a month then go ahed and have a smile on your face!!

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    2. It comes on the heels of the previous years reassessment. Many people now pay higher taxes due to that. But the bottom line is that the borough council created a lot of extra fat in the past two years, unnecessary spending on unnecessary added employees, vehicles and now a slush fund for a private investor. We should have seen a tax deduction last year and continued to enjoy that this year.

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    3. ....what rate did you use to get $120 out of $100,000.

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    4. A week of groceries here, a week of groceries there and pretty soon it adds up to real food.

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  8. People, Columbia has hideous taxes. They start out HIGH so NO they should not raise. Someone said well, it's just a few extra dollars.????? You say you want to attract business. YOU may pay only a few extra dollars but the tax bills in that town WILL KEEP industry and business away. IT HAS BEEN PROVEN. Loans?? If you think this is something that will fix the problems in Columbia, you need to investigate more and wake up. Giving people loans will only raise your taxes. Guess I am not sure how a hotel in Columbia can survive. People come in to antique shop and leave. What are the attractions to fill a hotel? Maybe I am missing something. What are the tax dollars doing now? Not to keep the roads. Have you driven up town lately? Pathetic. Better get a grip on what you are charged and what it is being used for.

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  9. Signing the Petition tomorrow at 430 Linden St will be from 12 to 6 PM, so that anyone who works second shift can do it.

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  10. My rebuttal is on the sale of the municipal waste treatment plant and the removal of the municipal authority was a combined amount of over 10 million dollars. The plant would eliminate the wages of over $300,000 in employee insurance, pension and wages.
    Where is that money? What was done with over 5 million dollars belonging to taxpayers? The Borough Council saw an opportunity of the new assessments around town to pull that percentage back to the borough. Stupid move when there was an opportunity for residents to use those extra dollars to invest in their homes.
    So your $120 per year is 3 pales of paint and necessities to paint their homes. If you invest in confidence, you invest in the future. Bringing in new businesses does NOT lower your taxes unless a major corporation(s) invest in large properties. We see that action in townships all around the county.
    Invest in unity and common sense and it will carry Columbia back to a place to raise a family.

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    1. Good points, I tend to agree with you. I also think the other guy or gal makes a good point. After 10 years, its bound to happen sooner or later. I think I'd rather a small one than a giant one when its too late...that's definitely mismanagement. Look, no one likes tax increases. I'm certain borough council doesn't either. I'm willing to bet none of those folks actually wanted to raise taxes. We vote for these folks to make hard decisions, no here we are criticizing them for doing just that. We are all "armchair quaterbaking" this thing. Its easy to disagree and its easy to complain. Its harder to put people out of work. Its harder to find money to pave streets while still providing for other needed services like police and fire. I don't like this tax increase. On second thought I hate it. But Id rather a small increase now than a larger one when things get real bad. Sorry, no petition for this lady.

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    2. You've obviously not been attending borough council meetings to follow the wasteful spending and careless mismanagement of the taxpayers money.

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    3. Lay offs must come to this town!! The Borough has no choice just wait and see! It is the life we live!!

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  11. NEVER going to attract desirable, new home owners with the highest taxes in the county, NEVER!

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    1. It certainly doesn't help, but Lancaster is not far behind and they are doing pretty darn well.

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    2. Yea but look at the size of Lancaster and all the things to do in it. Columbia is pretty pathetic.

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  12. We should not be lending money period to anyone. That's what banks are for. What if new people get elected and want the money paid back. I would like some money to do things too would the boro lend me? How about them lending money to seniors who will lose their homes. We should have a choice to decide where our tax money is going.

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    1. Can the "loan fund" be applied for and used to pay taxes? I'm absolutely positive there are many grandparents and parents, who lived here their entire lives, that would apply tomorrow to save their homes from putting them up for sale?

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  13. I think it's sad that the Boro actually has to hire a "solicitor" aka "lawyer'

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    1. Most if not all municipalities have solicitors...

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    2. OTHER WISE THEY WOULD BE IN JAIL.

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  14. This petition is to hold a meeting to repeal these items not, to repeal them right then and there. It's important for constuants to be heard, and perhaps be educated on the reasons why these things are happening and why they are in place. I believe that Borough taxes should go up especially since they haven't been raised in so long. Should the increase that high? Perhaps not. However like everything else the cost to operate does go up. It's the same reason why your favorite restaurant or shop might raise its prices. If it didn't have the funds to continue to provide the goods and services you keep coming back for, what are the odds you would return? I moved here 5 years ago and I have seen a significant difference for the better here. I don't agree with the repeal for the revolving loan fund, because this is something that has been proven to be successful in other cities but these topics are definitely things that should be discussed with the public and if that's what this petition is asking for then I am all for it. This should not be a forum to talk about why this or that isn't happening. It should be a forum where the public can get it's wheres and whys and to state their piece on the impact this would have on them. So many believe that the government is in place to rip us all off, but without it imagine the chaos? I'm not saying that everything in government is perfect, but making decisions for yourself and your neighbor should come from a place where both ends of the spectrum are seen.

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    1. If everything is going up around us per say! Then why make it harder on the tax people as i say!! The Borough needs to stop the spending on the river and anything BIG like a loan or tax break on a Hotel!! Start down sizing first to save and then put the money for the tax people!! Lets make this happen!!

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  15. For the life of me I cannot find anywhere that 600,000 was GIVEN to any developers, no NO GRANT, just a loan for 250k that helped a 100 year old business remain open and renovate and expand. You guys were all crying when Colonial Metals closed and the borough should have done more. Get real!

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    1. They should not allow any more money for BIG PROJECTS with out the VOTE of the TAX PAYERS!!

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    2. The tax payers are tring to prevent this money or BIG loan from happening!!

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  16. first and foremost COUNCIL MUST stop allowing more rentals. there are approximately 900 rentals in this small Boro. hard working taxpaying homeowners are losing their homes everyday, slumlords buy them for a little bit of nothing and turn them into RENTAL PROPERTIES. I never understood WHY Borough COunci and Borough Manager have Done NOTHING to stop this. Actually, they need TO GET RID OF ABOUT 500 RENTAL PROPERTIES. THEN, THINGS WILL HAPPEN.

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    1. Lets see , council raises taxes people can't sell , hum more rentals , higher taxes doesn't sell homes, and your number is way low there is way more than 900 illeagel ones.

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  17. We need to get a LARGE group to show up at the next council meeting. The boro manager thinks we're a city. STOP the loans too

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    1. Just a small town with big city problems.

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  18. The roads are horrible in Columbia snow removal is horrible do something about these problems and maybe we’ll except the tax hike

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  19. Since it appears the Columbia Spy is running the Democratic party, does that mean the gop will get equal time and all candidates treated equally? It's the law that the,media follows or will we continue to see one sided coverage?

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    1. The Columbia Spy is not running the Democratic Party. We're under no legal obligation to present all points of view, although we try to do so. The Fairness Doctrine was given the kibosh in 1987 by the Republican-appointed FCC chairman. The Equal-time Provision applies to broadcasters.

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  20. Amen. Too many rental properties. Slumlords have already ruined Columbia. Just walk down town.

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    1. You got that wrong, with the taxes and reputation Columbia has ,from uncontrolled spending, schools failing and they can't control the kids , people can't sell there house to get out of here, thus rentals. Youall talk but if you want them gone , BUY THEM , I am shore they all have a price on them, in short put up or shut up, and not all Property managers are slumlords, and what gives you the right to call the good ones slumlords ????

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    2. the "slumlords" are the ones who have bought many many properties at sheriff sales for a little bit of nothing. they do NOTHING to the properties. just rent them out. they fix nothing, they do NOT care if these tenants are mean ignorant people who respect NO ONE, who don't take care of the property, who have tons of kids and or other adults living with them, have 4 or 5 vechicles and no where to park so they park in front of all the neighbors homes every day, they just don't care! THAT needs addresses, get RID OF about 500 RENTAL PROPERTIES. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT WOULD DO!!!!!
      this ONLY pertains to the slumlords.

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  21. Who agreed to place the revenue made off of the waste water treatment plant into the capital fund? Knowing full well money cannot be transferred into the general fund...really! Plus knowing the GF was low on reserves. Where are ALL of our tax dollars going? Do you really think having the highest taxes will generate more people wanting to move here? Wake up council people.

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