In the Jan. 27 edition of the Dubuque Telegraph Herald, there was an editorial entitled “Assessments do not have to mean higher taxes,” written by the Editorial Board. The first sentence pretty much summarizes my feelings concerning the proposed 8.2% property tax increase by stating, “The Telegraph Herald reported last week that property tax assessments in Dubuque County are out of whack now.”
The TH points out that municipalities will claim that they are not responsible for your taxes going up because they have not raised the property tax rate. Someone is responsible. The reason municipalities have not had to raise the rate is because every year the County increases the value of your property and by doing so, increases the taxes you pay. You are now paying the same tax rate on a more expensive piece of property than you did before.
This year, many businesses and individuals have experienced many challenges and among them are financial ones. The TH states, “Taxing bodies must weigh the burden that local residents are carrying before they check the “status quo” box on property tax rates, knowing that ultimately it will result in a financial setback to homeowners.” An 8.2% increase will most definitely hurt some individuals.
The TH further states, “Taxing bodies should strike the balance so that the amount of taxes paid by residents and received by government remains the same as the previous year.” I believe this is the most important point in this article. With events that have occurred this past year, many individuals and businesses have suffered greatly. Look around our community and look for those restaurants that have closed and others that will follow suit. Next summer when we encourage all the visitors to come to our community, what will we have to offer them?
Our City Council is currently doing the budget that will begin July 1. I hope you would join me and encourage them to use financial constraints in their deliberations. This year, the taxpayers should come first.