There are some obvious facts being overlooked. The city has grown in population. Property values have increased substantially. There are new housing developments being built all over the city. All of these should equate to a larger tax base and higher tax revenue. We never hear about that when the city is asking for more money.
The city has wasted a lot of money in legal battles with the Billings Police Department and Billings Fire Department. The BPD hasn’t done its credibility any favors; with the scandal over several officers having sex (on duty), or their military-style response to one armed individual at Big Bear, which destroyed the building and forced the owners to close the business.
Why not try “maximizing” efficiency? I have never understood why having all (3) services (BPD, BFD, EMS) respond to every incident is efficient? BPD responds to every incident. If fire, or rescue is not an issue, why does BFD need to respond? If EMS is staffed with paramedics, let them handle medical (only) incidents. It always seems to be something. The library or Dehler Park, for example.
The voters approved a public safety mill levy just last year. The city will always find a "need" for more money, but they need to figure out other methods of funding, besides taxing us into oblivion. Do you really think the city needs all the funds they are requesting? I don't. Vote no on the public safety mill levy.