Recently I asked a financial analyist to review the most recent, publically available financial report for the city. As I comb through the report, one number dropped my jaw immediately, and I know every homeowner in the city can relate. It’s that feeling of dread you get when you see the yellow envelope come each year with the your projected property tax multiplied by nearly a decade.
The few bucks this year, fifty bucks that year all adds up to a staggering 87% increase in property taxes paid between 2008 and 2015. From $11,992,527 collected in 2008 to this year’s grand total of $22,468,800. Sure things get more expensive, but 87% more expensive?
Imagine being a 65 in 2008, newly retired with your budget planned out with just enough wiggle room to have a little fun, yet in just 7 years that extra wiggle room has been collected for property taxes, not only is their chance to enjoy retirement gone, but odds are they have to cut back on some of the necessities too.
As a city, we have to project better, plan better, and budget better. We can’t continue to turn to the homeowners each time the piggy bank gets light. We need to find new sources of income, by creating a city that is desired by working families and the businesses looking to hire them.
Let’s not turn to the homeowner, who has invested not only buying a house here, but mostly likely working and shopping here. Let’s not take more from those that are living on fixed incomes because it’s the easiest answer. Instead, let’s try a little harder to make it easier on those who live here.
Watch for more on a new financial picture for Duluth to be posted here soon.