By Zachary Richardson, Sedona Resident
(August 26, 2013)
Recently, there have been headline articles about the great fund raising event Save Our School Sports (SOSS). We even had a Hollywood actress, Jenilee Harrison, here supporting our sports programs. On the surface, it’s a positive thing, our community working together in time of crisis to raise money for our schools. When one digs a little deeper, one realizes that this is a self inflicted crisis. Sedona failed to pass the Budget Increase Override (the Override) last November. Consequently this significantly cut funding to the school district, resulting in critical courses and activities being eliminated this fall.
As an outsider, one would read these articles and wonder why our community would do this. It is well documented that strong schools equate to communities with strong property values, less crime, and a stimulating culture. Who would want to live in a community that did not want these things? I just heard of a physician looking to relocate, who came to that conclusion and relocated someplace else. How many other people have done the same? For Sedona to survive, we need to attract top quality citizens to run our heath practices, city government, businesses, restaurants, and hotels. Our city budget is 100% and exclusively funded by sales and bed tax. Obviously, we depend dearly upon tourism to keep our city operational. And we depend upon innovative entrepreneurial business people to collect the bed and sales tax. If we cannot count on quality businesses to collect tax from tourists, we will have to find other sources of funding to support our city. If you want a nauseous feeling – calculate how Sedona could collect its $12 million budget from ONLY our residents through sales tax and/or property tax. Our next event might have to be Save Our City Sedona (SOCS).