It’s far from a done deal, but it looks like city officials will increase property taxes by 2.3 mills.
Before your britches get all pinched up over that, consider this: homeowners have been enjoying a tax break in recent years thanks to a decrease in property values.
Yeah, that fact is bad news if you have been trying to sell your house, but that’s a different story.
For the average homeowner, the increase of 2.3 mills means an additional payment of $60 in taxes each year. That’s not a bad deal considering the alternative: a bankrupt city taken over by a state-appointed emergency financial manager who will likely end up raising the tax rate anyway.
Of course saying the tax increase is going to happen is premature at this point. The increase will be buried in the new city budget for the 2012 fiscal year, which starts this July 1.
We are not going to be surprised that once reading this, some councilmembers will chicken out and change their mind. There is an election coming up after all, although at this point it looks like two incumbents are dropping out of the race.
Yes, raising taxes is never a popular thing to do. But it’s the necessary action to take. It takes courage to stand behind this tax. And that’s just what leaders are supposed to do.
It’s easy to say no taxes, but the consequences would be dire. The city is barely scraping by to avoid a takeover by the state. Once that happens, you can kiss goodbye local control.
Think about the extra tax this way: It will cost the average homeowner a little over $1 a week. That’s a good investment to keep the city under local control.