Councilman Scott Mann wrote an op-ed piece for PublicCEO.com, explaining the City of Menifee's strategy to build revenues through offering low home building fees, and waving "Menifee Money" to families looking for a cheaper place to live (link)...
In May, we unanimously passed a comprehensive plan that slashes homebuilder fees by 65% and lowers the cost of the permitting process by 20% to incentivize development in Menifee. ...But we didn't stop just on the supply side, we also needed to look for new ways to attract new residents and stimulate sales tax revenues. The answer: "Menifee Money".Considering it is we taxpayers of Menifee who are fronting the "Menifee Money" that will be given freely to newcomers, I'd like to ask councilman Mann what we're going to get back in return for such investment?
The obvious answer is additional property taxes. But getting additional property taxes is not a 100% profit gain. Adding more bodies to Menifee only increases the traffic, adds more burden to schools, demands more police and fire, and makes us wait even longer to get a table at a restaurant.
I tend to like the size of Menifee as it is. I don't really want more people here.
I think the better solution is to incentivize the growth of industry. Establish a business park, more industrial. Create a tourist center, like get that aquatic center going, find a place for an "Old Town Menifee".
Building more jobs here means employees will be patronizing the local eateries and stores for lunch, and buying gas. Instead of relying of Menifee residents to put up the tax base, Menifee can increase its take from people who live outside of town.
I've yet to hear a councilmember explain to me the strategy behind building more homes. Simply telling me that it will increase tax base just doesn't explain enough to me. Why should the city rely on taxing its own residents, instead of attracting outside dollars?
At this point, I'm withholding my vote for any councilmember who continues to show favoritism to homebuilders, until he or she can explain the advantages of building more homes, instead of more industry.