LETTER: Tax increase is an outrage

Reader Sonja Gartner said the increase to the tax rate is unacceptable.

Editor, the Gazette

It seems that the era where kings rule is not that far gone. Back then, if the king needed money he would just say “Raise the taxes!” Here we are in 2017, and it doesn’t seem that much has changed.

At the March 13 council meeting, councillors discussed whether to raise the property taxes this year. Couns. Ross and Butler were against raising the taxes 3.5 per cent, but Coun. Thompson advocated for the 3.5 per cent increase. Ross and Butler were outvoted by council.

Not once during this meeting was the idea of how the city may be able to lower their spending discussed. If a family, or any individual, fails to do lower spending to match income, they are in trouble and ultimately plunge themselves into debt. The same should apply for any governing body: if we don’t have the money, we shouldn’t spend the money. Council compared Grand Forks to other area where taxes are higher, but nobody addressed the problem: employment opportunities are not the same in Grand Forks as in those places.

Council cited examples such as “the roads need repair” – well, yes, they do. But it seems to me I’ve never seen so much repair happening on roads as I have seen here in Grand Forks. And yet I think our roads are in constant disrepair and potholes reappear all the time.

I find this an outrage. If this were a big city, this would not be acceptable and traffic chaos would ensue. If it is not acceptable there, neither should it be here.

I think that the people of Grand Forks deserve better than being subjected to this misuse of our tax dollars.

Sonja Gartner

Grand Forks