A recent issue of the Empire contained an article that Ron Haffner had written about the high taxes levied against his property by the City. It was $100,000 more than last year, but the truth is - he is not alone. I'll have to agree that this figure is nothing but obscene. We are co-owners of a small cabin on some beach front property at Lena Point and it went up nearly $50,000 over last year. Also, our home here in town took a good jump too.
I think the answer to this problem is a lot of fiscal responsibility and some drastic changes in the way the city conducts its (our) business. To start with, I would like the city manager to publish a list in the Empire of all city borough employees - that is every one who gets a paycheck from the city including contract workers, consultants and the like. I would bet that this figure will be in excess of a thousand employees. But we will never know if these figures are not put in the paper for all to see. You only have to observe the number of city borough cars, pickup trucks and other equipment on the street daily to get an idea of the numbers. Take a look at the number of city-owned buildings scattered areawide all over Juneau. To make these buildings workable they must have computers, furnishing, vehicles and staff. The long and the short of it is, I think that we have too high of a level of services. They are nice but at some point enough is enough - we become unable to afford the taxation. I think a large cut is needed now.
The city is top-heavy in government and needs a drastic trimming in every department from the top down, especially at the top. The truth is that taxation is out of hand and every possible thing that can be taxed is getting taxed. It is strange that the source of a real large tax base was all but turned down by the city council. This of course is the cruise ship head tax that can bring in millions and maybe even reduce the over bearing property taxes if it not merely slated for more spending.
Lets hear from the other over taxed people around the borough.
Bud Womack Juneau