I recently opened the Juneau Empire and read that businesses were pressing the city for a tax break, reportedly hoping to exempt most Juneau companies from personal property tax. The city would lose an estimated $471,000 under the plan. Advocates say that when Coeur d'Alene opens the Kensington Mine 45 miles north of Juneau, those tax payments would offset some financial loss to the city.
As has been reported in the Juneau Empire, the city in August unanimously decided that senior citizens and people of disabilities must now pay bus fees to increase revenues here. There was no other choice, the city asserted. This is clearly wrong.
What is great about Juneau certainly is not what decisions the leaders make, but the ability to see how politicians at any level can quietly transform the lives of those most in need of their service, while those on top receive more and more. Perhaps the most affected cannot shout and wave banners, or pay someone to start a campaign. They just suffer, most often with no voice to rise high enough to make a difference. So I want to shout out from Douglas across the channel, and through the Valley, "have a heart and at least let these people ride for free."
I am tired of seeing residents with their expensive four-wheel drives, boats and other toys acquiring more breaks, while others are just trying to make their tokens last the month.