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Wants officials to be blunt on property tax

To the editor:

I like Fort Dodge. My wife and I both grew up here and although we had to move away to pursue careers, we were excited to move back “home” a decade ago when we retired. We built a nice home here and have great neighbors. We plan to stay.

According to the tax assessor our home has increased in value about 30% over the past seven years. Our property taxes have increased about 26% over the same period. I’m not complaining. Our home is worth more now and we expect to pay more to support the local taxing bodies. I did have to smile a little though, when I read the “gov speak” in today’s Messenger when one of our councilmen said, “We’re not really raising it (property taxes), we’re putting it back”. That’s “gov. speak” for “we are going to raise your property taxes but if we say the rate was higher a few years ago people may believe we are not really raising their taxes.”

There would be a whole lot more transparency if our elected officials told people up front that “every year it takes more money to run our city and we are going to have to increase your taxes to cover those expenses.” After all, our taxes actually go up most every year as assessments are adjusted, and all the taxing bodies benefit from those increases. There are also soft tax increases when, outside of the regular levy, increased costs for sewer, water, and garbage are passed on in resident’s monthly bills. I’m not complaining about the cost of living here.

My wife and I vote yes for every public school, college, or recreational issue that come before the voters. I just wish our officials, and those reporting, would be more up front and when there is a tax increase coming. Just say “sorry, it costs more, and we are going to have to raise your taxes again.” Because that’s just what they are doing.

Robert Allen

Fort Dodge

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