Kearny residents express concerns at budget hearing

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By Mila Besich Lira

Kearny business owners conducted a lively discussion with Mayor Sam Hosler and the Kearny Town Council last week over several proposed budget concerns.

One of the major concerns for the businessmen was a recommendation by Pat Walker, a financial consultant for the Town. This is the second year that Walker has assisted the Town of Kearny in budget preparations and forecasting. One of the recommendations she and Town Manager Gene Green made were to conduct a sales tax audit of local small businesses as a way to generate additional revenue.

Several business owners expressed concerns to the council that these types of audits are time consuming and costly for the small business owners. One business leader explained that if he had to experience one more audit it would shut his business down. One business owner questioned why the town is paying a “high priced” consultant to do the budget when the Town Manager should be able to complete it. After the community was heard, Walker explained that a sales tax audit would help the town to make sure that the sales taxes the businesses are paying to the state are actually coming back to Kearny, not necessarily an audit of the individual sales. She explained that often the State of Arizona may make a mistake that costs the Town the revenues they have earned.

The 2013-14 Budget will include a two percent cost of living increase for Town employees and the tax levy will remain the same. Following the lengthy discussion the council voted unanimously to approve a resolution to adopt the 2013-14 budget as it was presented to the council.

Following the special meeting the Mayor and Council conducted their monthly business meeting. During that meeting the Council tabled the approval of the curfew notification siren until more research could be done on the exact curfew times. The council also approved members of the library board. The council appointed Luisandra Sainz as a the youth member she will serve alongside Donna Gennicks, Chris Postel, Mary Louise Eck, Joyce Campbell, Virginia Ochoa and Oralia Tovar.

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