October 21, 2015 Wendy Harris ACTION
“Affordable housing is a new, and growing reality.”
Kelli Linville, Candidate Statement, Voter’s Pamplet.
Oh goodie. Guess that means we can now forgo all those developer incentives and subsidies that are driving our property taxes up?
On Monday, the city is having a public hearing on the Mayor’s new mid-year budget adjustments. Looks like there is an income gap after all those costs of new development are added in. The Mayor suggests we generate more revenue by increasing city property taxes by 2% (which she assures us is something that we do every year. Listen to the audio from last Monday’s council meeting.) .
In case the significance escapes you, allow me to spell it out. As many of us have been stating all along, growth comes with a cost, and that cost is borne disproportionality and in reverse proportion to benefit. We, you and I, are paying more to make developers rich. And those costs keep going up as a city continues to grow.
Yet, the Mayor’s candidate statement brags about how she has accomplished all she set out to do four years ago: waterfront redevelopment, EMS Unification, and protection of Lake Whatcom. But she states that there is more to do to create the jobs and economic development that we, you and I, all want.
If we are doing so very well, thanks to the Mayor’s fine management, why do we need more jobs and economic development that will increase the taxes of the general public? As someone on a fixed income, this greatly concerns me. If it concerns you, make sure to review the proposal when it is issued for review later this week, and see for yourself how much of this is connected to the costs of new growth. And testify at the hearing and let the city council know how you feel.
The Bellingham City Council meets on Mondays beginning at 7 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall. Here is a link to agendas and meeting materials for 2014, 2015, and upcoming meeting materials: http://www.cob.org/government/meeting-materials.aspx
City Council Contact Info: