SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Lower property tax rate is good for all
By Rodney Dial


June 09, 2010
Wednesday PM

On Tuesday as I was reading the paper you could have knocked me over with a feather after I saw that the Borough Assembly reduced the mill rate (they had been discussing raising it). As a frequent critic of local government I feel that it is only right to say "thank you".

A lower property tax rate is good for all of us. I remember learning at the academy over 20 years ago a prime tenant of a healthy community is that a "job will solve a thousand social problems". One need only to look at the migration of business from California to Nevada in the last few years to see the effect of local tax rates.

When you think about the power of local government, it is a sobering thought you as a property owner will pay what they direct, or by force they will seize one of the most important and basic needs a human being hasyour shelter.

Our local school budget has more than doubled over the last few years, and the student population has decreased significantly, and they will do just fine with a modest reduction of the suggested yearly increase in spending.

Further, it is my understanding that last year the School Board voted to convert school heating from oil to electric which will eventually cut operating costs, allowing the savings to be reallocated. In essence, when the schools add 6.5 megawatts to the system we will pay more for our schools anyway due to the inevitable increased frequency of the diesel surcharge.

I would strongly encourage the schools, board, and school supporters to consider that this is a great opportunity to show that Ketchikan Government can "take a haircut" when it comes to making Ketchikan an affordable place to live. I have two children in our local schools and feel that our teachers and school administrators are doing an excellent job. Thank you for what you do.

Anyway, to the Borough Assembly thank you for getting this one right and please take the steps necessary to make this cut sustainable and permanent. Look for ways to eventually eliminate the sales tax on food and you will accomplish more good in this community than all the non-profits combined.

ps: lets consider this a trust building exercise between local government and the citizens, and not some ruse to grease the public for a bond vote on the Whitecliff building, or some other project (we're not in love quite yet) .now if we could only get the City Government on board?

Rodney Dial
Ketchikan, AK

Received June 08, 2010 - Published June 09, 2010


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