Mt. Vernon Register-News

January 3, 2013

Property owners left to foot the bill


MT. VERNON — Editor:

I went to my first school board meeting tonight (Monday, Dec. 17). Now, I want to say right off that I believe we’re over taxed in this city and somewhere along the line it’s going to have to stop.

I also want to say I saw a very sincere board that is concerned about how the raise in taxes is going to affect the property owners in this town. There were some folks in attendance that spoke their concerns about the raise in taxes and were concerned about when and how it was going to end. Taxes just can’t keep going up on everything.

I’m a firm believer in education and feel it should be our top priority, educating our children. I voted against the new high school and would do so if I had it to do over again, but that’s over with and all of the kids in this country should have the opportunity of having the best education we can give them.

The problem with all of these taxes is that every board in Jefferson County wants increases for one thing or another. The City Council is building us an aquatic center, they’ve supplied us with sidewalks in the Fruit Bowl that is the biggest joke I’ve seen in years. They say it’s all paid for by grants, but if any council member is reading this, I have a news flash for you — grant money is tax money. Every penny any board gets from the state or any other form of government is tax money.

Somewhere this has to stop. This town is not growing in population, only in taxes, ordinances and goofy projects.

Menards was going to come here until they found out there was an ordinance that would force them to build to suit the city instead of them using their own designs that they use on all of their stores. So, they got their money back and wrote this town off their list. How many other businesses have been run out of there because of taxes and ordinances? Let’s see, Hooter’s, Red Lobster, White Castle, St. Louis Bread Company; I’m sure there are others.

We had a chance to reign some of this mess in by voting out Home Rule, but the money folks here spent a small fortune advertising to keep it. You’re going to get what you voted for but the problem is that all of us are going to have to live with it. Oh well, elections are coming and there needs to be some changes made. Hope is all we have for now.

Anyway, taxes in this town are too high and only the property owners are the ones footing the bill. It’s very expensive to own property in this town, gas is higher here than surrounding towns, it just isn’t a good place to live anymore. It’s time for the City Council to get a grip and face reality. When seniors get a 1.79 percent Social Security increase after four years of no raises and taxes keep going up, something has to give, something besides us seniors, that is.

Jerry Merritt

Mt. Vernon