Tuesday, March 14, 2017

That Will be a $5 Blog Reading Fee

In the latest edition of "how The Simpsons accurately predicted the future" let's flashback to the episode where Hollywood producers decided to film the movie Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy in Springfield.  The City Council and Mayor Quimby then established new "taxes" on everything that the production may do or need:


Now fast-forward to modern-day Oshkosh--where the City Council, Mayor and City Manager have decided to balance their budget with ever-increasing fees to be paid by the multitude of special events held every single week here in "Wisconsin's Event City".  While we haven't reached the absurdity of a "puffy director's pants fee"--those footing the bill are beginning to take a much closer look at what they are being charged for--and finding the numbers don't seem to add up.

For example, the folks at the EAA and Country USA noticed that the rate for "police overtime" is higher than what the officers will actually be getting paid.  And that the city is "double dipping" on "benefits" that would be paid to those officers.  What's more, when these organizations offer to find alternatives to having Oshkosh Police handle security and traffic control, the City refuses to agree to it--intentionally incurring a cost that could be shifted to a different agency (that doesn't charge nearly as much).

It should be noted that the Special Event Permit Fee started out targeting just one event--Sawdust Days and putting them out of business.  But as those at City Hall began to see the type of revenue it could generate they figured they may as well soak everyone else looking to hold a charity run, a fishing tournament or the World's Largest Private Aviation Event.  But as all tax and spenders find out--eventually you run out of "other people's money"--and the title of "Event City" may move somewhere else.

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