There is now a proposed tax increase, which would be a 2.46 millage increase, which means around $850,000 in additional revenue, that was discussed in a public hearing on Tuesday night. Some local business owners are now speaking out, and the owners of LaBiche Jewelers say a tax increase shouldn’t be the focus right now.
“If you don’t fix the spending, you’re not going to have the money, and you’re going to have to get it from somewhere, and the only place the government can get the money, is from the people,” says Tricia LaBiche.
Both Tricia and her husband believe the administration is spending unnecessary money on things such as spending thousands on repainting city vehicles just because an employee wants it a different color.
“It’s not exactly about how many dollars it is on a particular house or on a particular property. It’s just about are we spending our money wisely, are we doing what we should be doing with it. If we are, a tax increase may be necessary. It may be necessary anyway within a year or two.” -Tricia
Her husband, Steven LaBiche, says, “I don’t think its going to put me out of business to pay an extra twenty to forty dollars a year, but I don’t want to come back next year and have to pay another twenty to forty. So, its like where’s the end? There needs to be some accountability on the administration’s part to make sure they’re doing their part to make sure they’re doing everything they can do in providing the services that we need.”
Ultimately, the owners of LaBiche Jewelers trust that the council will make the right decisions on this issue and spending within the city.
“And here within the last five or six years we’ve really seen a lot more investment into downtown. Into this downtown area just from a national point of view. Downtowns are coming back.” -Elic Purvis, local business owner
Another local business owner, Elic Purvis, says he is in support of the tax increase with the growth that Meridian has seen. He also says he believes the council needs to look into excessive spending and seeing how to save money, but that to fix our stagnant revenue that a tax increase is needed.
“Things like the MAX and the Children’s Museum and the Threefoot happening, you know, there’s a lot more investment into downtown, and it really uplifts us as a community but us as business owners to see that, ok, people are willing to spend a little bit more here,” says Purvis.