City Watch

A PROJECT OF NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM

Metropolitan area citizens face concerns about public safety, public works infrastructure maintenance, privatization of services, consolidation, merging and streamlining of city government, taxes, and unnecessary spending on services traditionally outside the scope of city responsibility. We encourage you to participate in our NTF City Watch Project, to call, fax, email, or write a letter to your city council members to urge them to vote fiscally conservative and implement ideas to give the citizens more efficient services under a leaner budget. Project participants will receive periodic newsletters, email bulletins, and research outlines and materials to act as watchdogs.

Issue Papers etc:

NTF WORKSHEET: LET THE SUN SHINE IN

NTF worksheet: sunshine1.doc. 7-16. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM WORKSHEET: LET THE SUN SHINE IN. BACKGROUND. One political pundit accurately noted that sunshine is the best disinfectant. Many government subdivisions need a strong dose of disinfectant. They make it very difficult, either purposely or unintentionally, for the taxpaying public to make itself heard in the quest to reform government taxing, spending, and regulation. Now, all Read more »

NTF TESTIMONY AGAINST DEMOLITION PROPOSAL

Ccwatch95.doc. 7-16. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM TESTIMONY AGAINST DEMOLITION PROPOSAL. Good afternoon. My name is Doug Kagan, 416 South 130 Street, and I represent NE Taxpayers for Freedom. We understand that this ordinance proposal has undergone revision to satisfy several objections. However, we still object to it in its entirety. First, it wrongly establishes a hierarchy of unelected bureaucrats to decide the future of private Read more »

STATE OF THE CITY HIGHLIGHTS FROM MAYOR JEAN STOTHERT

Stothertj11.doc. 2-16. HIGHLIGHTS OF STATE OF THE CITY MESSAGE FROM MAYOR JEAN STOTHERT: FEB. 26, 2016 by NE Taxpayers for Freedom. Omaha is the #1 place to work in technology in the Midwest. Unemployment rate in city only 2%. Public safety is her highest priority. 3-year plan beginning in 2013 will increase police force from 804 to 851. Police experts in each crime category now. Police work with feds to target gangs, illegal guns, and Read more »

CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP NEEDED IN HOUSE OF REPS

NTF worksheet: cong128.doc. 10-15. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM WORKSHEET: CONSERVATIVE LEADERSHIP NEEDED IN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. BACKGROUND. Conservatives nationwide cheered at the resignation of John Boehner as Speaker of the House. During his too long tenure, he stopped or delayed conservative legislation from deserved votes on the House floor and retaliated against conservative congressmen who pressed a conservative agenda and/or Read more »

DO NOT RAISE “TEMPORARY” OMAHA WHEEL TAX

Ccwatch44.doc. 8-15. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: DO NOT RAISE “TEMPORARY” CITY WHEEL TAX. BACKGROUND. Officially named the City Motor Vehicle Registration fee, the Omaha wheel tax originally was a temporary ordinance passed by the city council in 1917. The initial fee was $1, paid with vehicle registrations and renewals. In 1919, this temporary fee rose to $2, where it remained until 1946, when the city raised it to $4 Read more »

AGENDA 21 HEARTLAND 2050 VISION SPEECH

NTF worksheet: ccwatch58.doc. 3-15. NTF SPEECH TO MOPOA ON AGENDA 21 HEARTLAND 2050 VISION: March 9, 2015. Agenda 21 seeks to impose unelected regional government on local government subdivisions. Doing it here via MAPA: define. Heartland 2050 vision. Office of Sustainability. Micromanages a community like Omaha. Coerces human behavior, government knows best. Groups supporting it are ideological, like Omaha By Design, or who Read more »

CITY-COUNTY CONSOLIDATION NEEDED

Douglascounty12.doc. 2-15. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: CITY-COUNTY CONSOLIDATION NEEDED. BACKGROUND. Discussion regularly focuses on saving taxpayers money by merging Douglas County with the City of Omaha or at least consolidating services. A study group years ago favored merger, a minority report preferring only consolidation, a functional merger (contact NTF for these reports). The two government subdivisions under agreements Read more »

OMAHA LAND BANK A POOR ALTERNATIVE

NTF Issue Paper: ccwatch128.doc. 7-14. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: OMAHA LAND BANK A POOR ALTERNATIVE. BACKGROUND. The 2014 Legislature passed a bill to allow the City of Omaha to establish a municipal land bank with a board of directors. Liberals sought this legislation as a solution to disintegrating housing in the city. A City Council majority vote must amend an ordinance to create this new body. Although land banks might Read more »

LAND BANKS WRONG SOLUTION FOR URBAN BLIGHT

NTF Issue Paper: ccwatch127.doc. 6-14. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: LAND BANKS WRONG SOLUTION FOR URBAN BLIGHT. BACKGROUND. Over 770 houses remain on the City of Omaha demolition list, a mere fraction of over 3,600 sites labeled unfit or unsafe. Our NTF issue paper on Urban Homesteading explains why urban homesteading is the best solution to restore and redevelop deteriorating neighborhoods, restore properties to the tax rolls, Read more »

URBAN HOMESTEADING IN NEBRASKA

NTF Issue paper: ccwatch25.doc. 6-14. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: URBAN HOMESTEADING IN NEBRASKA. THE PROBLEM. Vacant and blighted houses negatively impact their neighborhoods in many ways. The property tax base erodes from lower values of deteriorated buildings or vacant lots where demolished homes once stood. Slums depress surrounding property values. Slumlords ignore back taxes, leaving additional abandoned properties Read more »

REFORM PUBLIC SECTOR WAGES & BENEFITS

NTF Issue Paper: ccwatch133.doc. 10-13. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: REFORM PUBLIC SECTOR UNION WAGES AND BENEFITS.  BACKGROUND.  The cost to taxpayers from public sector wages and benefits, which in Nebraska and other states greatly exceeds what comparable employees earn in the private sector, combined with billions in unfunded pension liabilities for retirees, threaten city budgets.  This burden will expand exponentially in Read more »

REFORM CITY OF OMAHA PENSION SYSTEM

NTF Issue paper: ccwatch134.doc.  10-13. NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: REFORM THE CITY OF OMAHA PENSION SYSTEM.  BACKGROUND.  Omaha like many other cities has underfunded public sector pensions.  City union employees enjoy retirement benefits several times higher than those of comparable private company employees, placing great strain on our city budget.  Without substantial reform, city pensions will terminate by default. Read more »

This Could Happen to Us...

Omaha suffers from constantly rising labor costs.  We take on more than we ever should.  These things have consequences.  Take it from Bob Deis, City Manager, Stockton, California, as he writes "A Message From the City That Went Bankrupt" for the Wall Street Journal. If we do not contain costs and battle union demands for ever increasing benefits, eventually citizens will refuse to pay more and more taxes.  If sales taxes, thinly disguised Read more »

OMAHA SUFFERS CREDIT DOWNGRADE

Omaha has suffered a downgrade of its bond rating due to problems with underfunded pensions for city workers.  The current unfunded pension liability is $794 million, mostly from the police and fire pension systems.  The downgrade could lead to higher borrowing costs for the city. How can the mayor and our city council even consider more spending and taxing until the pension shortfall is addressed?  But they did.  Look at the posts for City Read more »

Omaha Transportation Plan

NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM ISSUE PAPER: CITY OF OMAHA TRANSPORTATION PLAN IS BIG BROTHER GOVERNMENT. BACKGROUND. The proposed city transportation plan is a prime example of local government intrusion into private business and private property rights. It seeks to micromanage the community and coerce human behavior by advocating principles declaring that government knows what is best for its citizens. The groups in the planning process that offered Read more »