According to a new third-party analysis, Issue 1 will cost taxpayers $20,000,000 over the next decade. The estimate, produced by a CPA who specializes in budget forecasting, also shows that new council offices will cost $261,418 each.
“Issue 1 comes with major sticker shock for Columbus voters, with a price tag of $20 million over the next 10 years. I’m not sure which is worse – Issue 1 backers ignoring the costs now, or not caring enough to figure out the costs in the first place,” said Bryan Clark, campaign manager for One Columbus, the coalition of faith, labor, and community leaders against Issue 1.
According to the new report, “[Issue 1] will introduce significant uncertainty in the ability of the City of Columbus to efficiently budget and plan on a long-term horizon. Additionally, the impact of Issue 1 would require current reallocation of City resources to meet the expected budget shortfall in the near term, potentially eroding resources from other city government projects.”
“Issue 1 is a giant question mark in the middle of our city’s constitution. Where are the maps? What are the costs? Who will control the process? With so many unanswered questions, Columbus residents should vote no on Tuesday, August 2nd,” said James Ragland with One Columbus.
To provide the most conservative estimate possible, the analysis did not include future increases in the size of council provided for in Issue 1. Rather than estimating up to 25 councilmembers, the estimates compare a 7 member versus a 13 member council.
Despite claims from pro-Issue 1 campaigners, council salaries are now set by the Citizens’ Commission on Elected Official Compensation. Council may not exceed the recommendations of that entity. City employee salary ranges are based on market rate analysis.