Who’s gonna pay?

Hoo Boy, I love’s me a City Council Candidate Forum! Them’s candidates just say the dumbest dandiest of things.

Take Kathy Greathouse, candidate to replace Marilyn Marler in Ward 6, who was explaining her dislike of SID’s and other maintenance districts. Last night, Kathy said, “It’s just a tax to cover what the city budget doesn’t cover anymore.”

OK, I’ll admit that I don’t like the nickel and diming approach to paying for our city’s infrastructure. Every time we vote, either directly through the ballot for a mill increase or indirectly through the passage of SIDs by City Council, we are raising our taxes. It’s just that each little piece seems important enough. After all, how else are we going to pay for our fire stations, storm water systems, schools, museums, sidewalks, weed control, street sweeping and such?

Listening to the other ‘conservative’ candidates might help us answer that. According to the Missoulian, John Quandt, a candidate for Ward 3 where Bob Jaffe is the incumbent, isn’t in favor of maintenance districts unless there’s an offset for property owners. I guess that means that non-property owners will pay more!

Furthermore, Quandt suggests another way: community members who care about their neighborhood can volunteer. I know how well that’s going to work out. With our busy, busy lives we’ll now all be out there plowing the streets, teaching our neighbors children, forming a posses to round up the criminals, and giving immunizations at the city health clinics!

Then we throw in Ryan Morton, candidate for Ward 1 against Dave Strohmaier, who says there must be a decrease in general taxes as part of the package. Ward 5 Councilman Dick Haines agrees, saying he would lop $2 million off the city’s budget.

Do you get the pattern? Their vision for the city is no SID’s, an offset of taxes for property owners, and a lowering of general taxes. I don’t think the conservative candidates addressed impact fees (i.e. those who cause the impact should pay), but if they tow the building industry line they’ll be against them. Neither do they talk about local sales tax options, but the Republicans in the last State legislature were against them.

So, boil it all down and no-one should pay! Everyone will like that, right?

Down with government. Bad Government. And these are the people who are asking to run the local government? eek.

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4 Responses

  1. Oh, boy. You do rewrite history quite well.

    For my own perspective, I stated that other towns used maintenance districts (which are not SIDs) to approach infrastructure funding RATHER than general budget money. So, I stated that if we were to follow that route, we ought to lower general property taxes and allow a decentralized approach to maintenance districts for items such as parks and streets.

    Get the story right.

    • Hey Ryan, welcome back. You may also wish to correct the paper of record. I’m sure the Missoulian will be happy to print your explanations.

      Pick your allies carefully, though. You may get tarred with the same brush. But you know that.

      • What the article said was,” Candidate Ryan Morton, trying to oust Strohmaier in Ward 1, also spoke to maintenance districts. He is a proponent of decentralized districts, where neighborhoods can choose to pay for upgrading a street.

        “I don’t think the entire city should be covered,” Morton said.

        He also said a corresponding decrease in general taxes must be part of the package.”

        So, I argued people should be able to choose to be in a district. I think YOU got it wrong, not the paper.

  2. […] miss Bunk the West’s review of Tuesday’s candidate forum held by the Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce, the Missoula […]

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