Property Taxes – The Council’s Current Negative Cycle
Property taxes are largely directed to the school district to fund our schools. When the council votes to abate or reduce property taxes (for choice new businesses only), they are taking money from the schools and giving it away to companies. This puts the school district in a position where they are forced to raise property tax rates to make up for the loss.
This is a terrible cycle. It has got to stop. Our community’s property values have been declining, but because of the council’s misguided approach to economic incentives, our property taxes continue to go up.
Property Taxes – Putting Into Place a Better Cycle
I would like to change the way the town government approaches economic incentives—I want to replace the negative cycle of lopsided taxing with a more equitable cycle that benefits everyone.
- Better ways to attract new businesses. We must implement better, more effective methods to attract new businesses. I discuss this in more detail on my Economic Development page.
- Balanced tax burden. Since those new businesses would pay their share of property taxes, they would partner with the citizens to properly fund our schools. That’s a far more balanced approach than what the current council’s actions have given us.
- Help existing businesses prosper. For our existing businesses, if the council would do more to help them grow and expand their facilities, they would contribute more property tax. I have a plan to help our existing local businesses—see my Economic Development page for details. When our local businesses prosper, they share our tax burden to benefit our schools.
- Prospering businesses hire more people. When new and existing businesses prosper and grow, they hire more workers, which can attract new people to our community. Those people will buy, build, or rent homes and pay their own property taxes, further contributing to the funding our schools receive.
- Property tax rates can be lowered. Once we increase the number of people and properties that pay property tax (and if we can keep the council from spending the tax revenue frivolously), then we can lower property taxes.
This positive cycle works much better than the negative cycle of abatements and reductions, which causes our tax rates to rise.
As a council person:
- I will advocate for better incentive packages that do not include tax abatement or reduction.
- I will ensure the impact to our schools is carefully considered before any of their much-needed tax money is directed away in the name of economic development.
- I will work to establish a system to actively assist and encourage local businesses so that they can expand and bring in more property tax.
- I will work to identify and correct inefficiencies and break old council habits so that any increased property tax revenue is not wasted.