To the Editor:
I would like to comment on the statements from several letters about how recently approved development keeps our taxes low, and that we should seek even more development using that argument. I perused the City database to determine the validity of that argument by looking at my current residence. It was acquired in 1993 and, because it is fairly average, can be used as a proxy for looking at how tax payments have increased for a typical homeowner during that time.
The City website explicitly points out that the taxes consist of two components, the tax rate and the assessed value. Therefore, if the assessed value increases by ten percent, say from 100 to 110, then the tax rate must decrease by nine percent in order for the taxes to remain unchanged. I do not recall that happening.
My taxes have increased by 120 percent from 1993 to the present. This does not even include the refuse fee contained in my HOA assessment, which increased by 140 percent during that time. Obviously, inflation needs to be factored out, but doing so still leaves an inflation corrected tax increase of 68 percent.
Moreover, looking at different segments of time, taxes actually decreased by nine percent from 1994 to 2000 after correcting for inflation.
In contrast, taxes increased by a whopping 108 percent between the years 2000 and 2011, or 76 percent after factoring out inflation. This period also coincides with the City's emphasis on development for its own sake.
Edward Abbey wrote, "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of a cancer cell." We had better start having a dialogue about what we are doing to this City before the costs of these developments envelop us all.