SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


It Takes Courage to Cut the Budget
By Robert D. Warner


July 02, 2008

Dear SitNews Editor:

Many of us are suffering "sticker shock" as we receive our current billing for property taxes. This should remind us that it takes real courage and hard work for our elected leaders to cut spending and reduce our taxes or keep increases modest and reasonable.

It looks like the easy way was taken this year. Rather than cut the mill rate, it was kept the same; sharp increases in assessed values were then allowed to balloon both Borough and City budgets.

Little thought was given to the plight of citizens as they faced high costs for heating oil and gasoline during the past year. The thought of even higher heating and transportation costs this coming winter provides many taxpayers with chills in July.

Is it about time for local political leaders to display some courage? Would they consider placing a freeze on recent budget increases and reduce or suspend sales taxes on heating oil for the winter months?

Would city fathers have courage to discontinue plans for building a "castle on the hill" to serve as a new public library? Have they even considered the higher costs of heating, electricity, and staffing for such a place? Who would pay for these mushrooming costs?

Political leaders all too often feel pressured from special interest lobbyists and public bureaucrats demanding more funds for this and more staffing for that. It's time that they hear from common taxpayers who pay their bills.

Robert D. Warner
Ketchikan, AK

Received July 02, 2008 - Published July 02, 2008, 2008


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