Why do taxes keep going up? There's the “$64,000 question!” Recently I commented on a Norwich Bulletin article regarding the City of Norwich budget proposal which they are currently delaying until they have an idea of what the State is going to cough up (the basically broke state, I might add). The proposal in the works does, of course, include a 6+ % increase.
Naturally, as is usually the case with any matter involving politics and especially money, someone posted comments about the issue, sticking up for the council and insisting that they don't indiscriminately spend the taxpayer's dollar. Really? I have to wonder if the budget process they use to arrive at their conclusion of the need for more money is the same as they would use with their personal household finances? Sorry, but it is much easier to be generous with someone else's money than your own.
Unlike some commenters, who seize the opportunity to “take it out” on folks using their keyboard, the comment of the person defending the council was civil and, in many ways, well thought-out. I understand that there are factors that must be taken into account when budgeting that are impossible or, at least, hard to control and predict.
Someone else brought up an interesting point that I shall pose in the form of a question: how is it fair that renters who have children in the school district (education being a huge part of the budget) contribute far less than homeowners do toward the education of their children? How is right that property owners must bear the brunt of the expense, even if they have no children? It hardly seems right that someone with one or more children in the public school system that has an adequate income (but happens to rent vs. own) pays a fraction of what someone who owns even a modest house does? In fact, if the renting parent [or parents] does not own a vehicle, they pay even less into the local community. How is that fair if they have the means to pay? I have no issue with contributing to provide a decent quality education to the children of our community. I only ask that people with the children that are actually benefiting from our schools pay an appropriate share of the cost.
If the the tax structure was more fair towards the property owner and the business owner, perhaps the city could attract something we have seen very little of in the past several years: employers. I believe they would come if they were treated fairly and the taxes were reasonable-- not going up and up every year.
What are your thoughts?