Bellevue department heads are being asked to cut 14-percent across the board. City Council members want to put a lid on property taxes and preparing the next budget is in the early stages.
City officials are facing a tough situation. No one wants higher taxes, but no one wants to see their services cut either.
Eric Ging is a Bellevue homeowner and business owner and knows all about taxes. He would hate to see his property taxes go up, but like his business, Bellevue is growing and taxpayers need to decide what kind of city they want to live in.
"You gotta decide if good schools is good, good roads is good, safety, if that's a higher priority, if you have to pay for those items then you gotta pay for them, like if you're gonna want a small burger or big burger."
Public safety is a big part of the Bellevue budget. Taking way 14-percent here and in every other department in the city is much more than trimming the fat. "We're cutting the meat now,” said Councilman Don Preister. “We're cutting into serious services to get to that point without raising taxes and our goal is to try to do it without raising property taxes. Nobody likes property tax increases."
Preister says state and federal aid to cities has been reduced and Belleuve needs a new police station, but some taxpayers believe there has to be some balance between higher taxes and reduced service. “Nobody wants to pay extra money, but they're gonna be a lot more upset if it takes the police an extra 20 minutes to respond to their accident, to respond to someone breaking into your house and so forth," said Ging.
Expect a lot of discussion before a decision on cuts is made.