Former councilor: Milwaukie can ill afford feel good green tax
The role of government should be to provide essential public services for residents of the area within its jurisdiction.
• Manage finances, service delivery and assets to meet the needs of their community and ensure long-term financial sustainability for future generations.
• Use strategic asset plans as the basis of responsible revenue raising decisions, ensuring rates reflect true annual costs of essential service delivery and long-term infrastructure needs.
• Articulate evidence-based priorities, develop partnerships with their community and government to achieve those priorities.
Local representatives of the people are elected to meet the ultimate goal which is to provide essential services in the most cost-effective manner possible. The last thing Milwaukie residents need is yet another tax.
My current annual property taxes to the city of Milwaukie total $961.25 ($80.10 per month), with no specification as to where the money is going. My NW Natural gas bill includes a 2% Milwaukie franchise fee, and PGE tacks on a city of Milwaukie tax of 1.5%.
The majority of Milwaukie residents are middle class like me, currently struggling to make ends meet. Inflation, food prices, gas prices, energy prices, crime, property taxes and garbage rates are at an all-time highs. Emergency services are struggling to be fully staffed.
We cannot afford a feel-good, unmeasurable, unaccountable, non-science-based, carbon-emissions boondoggle.
As a former City Council president for six years, I am very familiar with the challenges of governing the city of Milwaukie and doing what is best for the entire community. With limited resources, it always comes down to a matter of priorities!
The focus needs to be strictly on Essential Services, such as our water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure that need work (huge recent sewer fee increase). Our police department needs critical resources and staffing. Our neighborhood streets are in serious disrepair.
As someone who is currently retired on a fixed income, I am imploring the Milwaukie City Council to not put me (and the majority of other Milwaukie residents) in a position to choose between paying for food, health care, housing and gas for a feel-good green tax.
All Milwaukie residents need to urge our City Council to do the right thing and abandon this ill-advised additional and unnecessary tax.
Larry Lancaster is a 47-year Milwaukie resident and former city councilor.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.