Letter: Street light cost proposal avoids taxation limit
This letter is in regard to the council's proposal to add the street light cost onto the business and residential monthly utility bill.
In 2004, the city council added surface water charge of $3 per month per residential property and established a formula for business and industries. At that time I remember people saying that it was all right to do this because it was only $3 per month or $36.00 per year. However, this charge has increased seven times since enactment of this monthly charge, and today I pay $4.24 per month or $50.88 per year.
The reason the council wants to make this change is that by putting this charge on the monthly utility bill, you free up more money from real estate taxes. To me, this is not the way to do business with our tax money.
As a former councilman and mayor of a small town, we always had to struggle to get enough money to operate the city services. As I look back at those days, I feel that was the way it should be. Government agencies should always have to struggle to find the funds they need to supply the services for the community.
To give the city this kind of power that whenever they need money, a punch of a button and all utility bills go up, is not beneficial to the people. It is only a spending tool by the city council with no limits whatsoever.
The State of Minnesota has placed a limit on how much real estate tax can increase in one given year. This was put in place for a reason. That reason was to stop local governments from overtaxing. This was a good thing. This move to place street light charges on our utility bill circumvents the limit on taxation by the state and is another example of a city council that spends as much as they can get away with.
Please reconsider this proposal.