I’m occasionally asked about taxes. I had one single mother tell me that her taxes have gone up $320 per month in the last three years. Another resident has told me of suddenly being taxes on unbuildable land adjacent to her property as if it were buildable. Others in the city have told me that they don’t mind paying taxes, as long as they feel they’re getting the services they’re paying for–right now, they don’t.
To be honest, I don’t know where all the money has been going for the city to have the issues we are facing. Additionally, the constant tax increases are making the city more and more unaffordable for our seniors on fixed incomes as well as our middle class residents. I met a 90 year resident today who missed the income cutoff for full deferment because of a 1.2% cost of living adjustment to her pension. Her fixed income went up less than $1k, costing her $4k.
With everything that is going on: flooding due to neglected infrastructure, updated schools, pandemic recovery, etc. I cannot promise that taxes won’t go up again (along with some borrowing). What I *have* pledged to do though, is to look at the budget and try to reign in some of the spending. It’s hard for me to believe that a city with nearly a billion dollar budget could be in such poor shape. My theory is that we’re spread too thin, and I’d like to restore our focus on the basics.
We can no longer afford to postpone maintenance and investment in infrastructure. This is a core competency we should have been doing all along.