by Duluth News Tribune
November 5, 2011 at 7:00 pm in Duluth News Tribune
Voters in Duluth will decide Tuesday whether they value city parks and recreational programs enough to reach into their pockets and pay more in property taxes.
Tags: Duluth, elections, money 48 Comments »
Vote no no no no no no for any levy’s and tax increases.
Hot debate. What do you think? 45 31
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The fact that many people, like you, don’t even know the different between plural and possessive nouns is a pretty strong indicator of the need for the school levy to pass.
Here’s some information that you should’ve learned in elementary school:
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 29 46
Can you explain to me how a group of jokers with master degrees in everything chooses to close down schools, overspend on expensive brand new ones thus increasing class sizes and then fire teachers but hire “integration specialists”, steal construction property by starting construction before the land is even bought, running out private residences and churches under the guise of eminent domain, doing zero research for the project resulting in huge cost overages, all the while watching as average student grades plummet to the bottom of the barrel? It would seem that all education needs an overhaul from the ground up because for years the school board has proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that college degrees are not earned by the brightest people but just the ones with the most money. This speaks to the highest level of all stupidity so far known but I am confident with the greater majority of the world’s population being barely able to turn food into crap let alone perform the basic human function of thinking abstractly that truly intelligent people will continue to suffer because of the excesses of other people’s ignorance and because we who are capable of rational thought are the minority.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 47 19
Also, why didn’t they report that DFL Duluth has 130 parks being maintained by government workers that receive more pay and lavish retirements, way greater than the average Duluthian lives on?
DFL Duluth doesn’t need 130 parks maintained by overpaid AFSCME labors.
There’s a whole other side to the economics and how it will affect those with much less than the government labor union ilk.
Why don’t you report in this DNT? You did report in city government overtime abuse in March of this year, remember all those AFSCME guys making over $100,000 before benefits?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 15
Right on, Dead Inside! Right on!
Like or Dislike: 1 1
Give it a rest Tom – Obviously you have an over-inflated sense of self. This is a blog, not a resume -
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 32 12
Is that all you have Tommy? Really? I get called out for a simple typo, as I graduated with a 3.5 GPA with a BA with two minors. I have furthered my education with a couple of certifications also. Tom, I am the person that liberals hate, successful, have a good job, and I want to keep my money mine. The government does not know how to spend my money. Keep drinking that DFL Kool-Aid, it tastes so good, doesn’t it?
Hot debate. What do you think? 35 23
The DFL hypocrisy is second to none!
They want to tax you more by raising property taxes through levies and percentage increases on people barley making their house or rent payments. And don’t forget seniors who don’t retiree in their 50’s and live off of lavish forced taxpayer funded retirements and “free” health care for themselves, spouses and dependents. So much for the poor whom they ultimately use for nothing more than staying in power.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 9
Right on !!! Does anyone remember that little extra fee (tax) that was to be used for operating the sreetlights? That used to come out of the normal taxes paid by citizens. The “little extra” started at $3.50 and was to pay for the electricity used and for upgrading the streetlights. I’m currently pauing up to $16.50 per month for streetlights and I ask, has anybody see any upgrades to their street lights anywhere? Same thing will certainly happen with this “little extra” levy for the parks. Remember…you cannot trust our city clowncil any further than you can throw a piano!!!
Like or Dislike: 9 4
Maybe if we didn’t have to pay that stupid street light amount on our utility bill, you could squeeze this from us too. This vote will be like my other School board vote, NO NO and NO!!!!!! This stupid A** city should have thought into the future, back about 30 years ago, and do what so many of us have done, called save save save, instead they spent spent spent, Here’s a thought…Borrow the money from Johnson Controls!!!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 41 24
Assurances from the Mayor and Sharla Gardner are not really sufficient for me to believe that in the long term the freed up monies will go to the libraries and find it insulting and annoying that the Mayor and a few city councilors keep presenting this referendum as something that will help the libraries! We have seen before that money that we were assured would go to one thing was later used for something entirely different.. just because the current council might approve that doesn’t mean that the next one will. And how exactly is the Boys and Girls club being helped? Thank you Mr. Stauber for hitting the nail on the head.. why aren’t more coucilors speaking up and telling it like it is? The Mayor and some of the Coucil are pulling the wool over our eyes again…
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 39 21
Why wouldn’t they keep doing what they do? They keep being elected. Duluthians have demonstrated beyond any question that they’re either unwilling or unable to engage their brains before they vote. The only other possibility is that they’re just too stupid to do what’s in their own best interests. I’d rather believe they’re just lazy, but I don’t know…maybe the average Duluthian just isn’t very bright. We’ll see when Tuesday’s election results are in.
Hot debate. What do you think? 29 22
Why do you have to insult? Being in disagreement with you certainly doesn’t imply lack of intelligence!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 25
Pot, meet kettle, wabene.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 9
Vote YES for the parks referendum. I’m all for supporting the parks and the schools. I don’t even have kids but I’d rather see my tax dollars go to help educating our youth. It’s up to the voters to elect better school board members, not to vote by shutting off funding. If you can’t afford the little bit of tax increase for the parks and schools perhaps you should either move out of here or reallocate your budget away from fast food, cigarettes, big cars, and lottery tix?
Hot debate. What do you think? 34 38
Duluth is near the state average in state funding and below the state average in referenda funding. Voting yes, yes, yes will put us near the state average in both.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 21 40
I also support the parks. Quality of life isn’t free
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 24 39
Then you and your big money friends can start by writing your own checks! Put your money where your mouth is and start donating!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 23 8
beatnik – just because someone can’t or is unwilling to stretch their budget and hard earned money during a tough economy does not mean they spend their money on fast food, cigarettes, etc. How unbelievably arrogant, narrow minded and intollerant are you to suggest that they should reallocate THEIR money so they can support additional taxes. Especially considering there is a track record of ignoring public opinion and out of control, irrational spending on that Board? Thats really a big part of the problem – The people with the funds to support this stuff without limits, looking down on, with a complete lack of understanding, those that don’t have the means, or that choose not to spend limited funds on more taxes.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 34 12
Your right about telling people what to do with their money or how to manage it. You are wrong however about out of control or irrational spending. As my link shows, we are now spending less than the state average to educate our kids. I think they deserve better.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 34
There will be always highs and lows, that is why it is called an average.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 7
So David, you want to be one of the lows, then?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 33
What they should have done was dealt with the programs, textbooks and class sizes first, and then had a buildings levy to see how big of a buildings project the people of Duluth could afford or were willing to financially support. Instead what they did is forced a 325 million dollar buildings project on us without a vote that will increase our taxes for a minimum of 20 years, and then beg the voters for another tax increase to reduce class sizes and to put new books in those cadillac buildings. Mixed up set of priorities if you ask me. Had they been more modest with the buildings plan most taxpayers would have gladly supported the money needed to do a modest buildings project. Not the way it was done though. Only so much available money to support that kind of thing.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 3
The city of Duluth’s facilities were in a sad state and it would cost huge amounts to maintain the status quo. Very inefficient use of public money. Past city governments thought as you do and left us with all this deferred maintenance and deferred updating. Making these tough choices now will cost us less in the future and in the meantime the present students will get a better experience.
Now that is what we have for the facilities. As for educating the kids, that is a separate matter. That will cost us as well. The local school board members didn’t cause the bad economy and all the cuts and rising costs. They just have to deal with it. So that means we have to as well. If you want to point fingers, I suggest there are bigger fish to fry than the local school board.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 5 32
I’ll make this simple so people who think like you do can understand it without cartoons:
If I asked you for a dollar, let’s assume you’d give it to me being the nice guy that you are. After all, it’s only a dollar. Now what if I asked you five minutes later for another dollar? And what if I continued to do this every five minutes? Would you just keep handing over your money? Or would you reach a point at which you’d say enough is enough?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 38 9
Nice condescending tone! Just as you obviously don’t see things the way I do, I don’t agree with your views. When I see we are paying less than the state average, I worry more about the quality of our education. It’s not that much money.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 10 36
That’s not an answer.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 19 3
I wouldn’t give you the first dollar
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 3 17
I don’t even have kids, but am willing to spend on education. There is nothing more important for the future of this country than an educated populous. Cut the military if you want cuts. Our technological advantage in weaponry is due to what?… Education. And way too much spending ON MILITARY.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 8 37
Education is the last place we should tighten our belts.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 36
You mean the first 500 plus some empolyees in the Duluth schools that make over $100,000 a year in wages and benefits for working 3/4s of a year.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 4
Did I get something for my dollar? You do understand that the tax money is used for things that people want, right? Yes, not everyone wants everything the government buys but I suspect even you use some of the services.
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 4 18
The State and County budgets are constantly cut also, to the extent that they have to cut services to the needy. Maybe there ought to be a referendum to subsidize those budgets. Can’t get to the parks if you have no money for transportation and too hungry to walk, or care.
Like or Dislike: 1 0
Duluth has 130 parks maintained by too many city workers, making much more money than the average Duluthian, and received retirement incomes and benefits second to none!
Here are the 130 parks: http://www.duluthmn.gov/parks/pdf%20files/parks_listing_2009.pdf
Here is where you can see that 80% of the city budget goes to employee salaries, benefits and retiree insurance: http://www.duluthmn.gov/finance/2011_budget/Preliminary%20Levy%20and%20General%20Fund%20Budget.pdf
2011 Salaries $40.663 million
2011 Benefits $11.982 million
2011 Retiree Health Insurance $7.204 million
Total $59.849 million of the total 2011 budget of $74.948 equals 80% (79.85)
It is very unfortunate this information is not reported in the media.
Like or Dislike: 18 5
Duluth is near the state average in state funding and below the state average in referenda funding. Voting yes,yes, yes will bring referenda funding to almost the state average.
I support this and the parks. I want to see Duluth improve. Lets bank on the future!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 13 41
But due to lack of jobs Duluths’ poverty rate is much above the State average. That means Duluth has fewer working folk to fund levys. See the problem with trying to be average in spending when we are way below average in income?
Like or Dislike: 14 2
My property taxes are already being raised due to the elimination of the Homestead Credit program. Enough is enough, there comes a point when one cannot comfortably absorb any more increases. I don’t get a raise at work every year, but yet I am expected to pay more fees and taxes every year. Once again, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 40 15
Actually our property taxes were going down the last few years due to the bad real estate market
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 41
Wabene – I am not sure where you live or what kind of a house you live in, but my property value went up 33,000 in one year without any improvements – last year – and of course all those increases – even the arguments for the 5.00 a month here and 7.00 a month there increased along with the value of my home – Obviously the “bad real estate market” that you refer to affected you positively – but it certainly didn’t to me or possibly thousands of others.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 36 5
I live in a great neighborhood. Chester Park. Property values in Duluth overall dropped slightly the last few years. Not a big drop as in the Twin City metro area, but a drop. This is a fact and the assessor adjusted home values accordingly.
I live in a moderately sized home that is valued right around the Duluth median. My property taxes are affordable in my opinion. If someone is living in a 3500 square foot home and crying about their property taxes, I can’t hear them.
To my knowledge, the market values are going down, but the taxes are still going up while they take all the credits away, and make up for the tax breaks we’ve been getting when they were under-valuing real estate.
Like or Dislike: 0 0
Ugh, tough crowd. I guess I’ll just wait till Tuesday. My little ballot will listen to me. I just don’t understand how people can complain about these little local increases in their taxes, but I never hear a peep about gross federal spending on wars and the military while cutting taxes to the rich and gutting social services such as…..EDUCATION!?
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 5 30
Stop changing the subject with the military rhetoric. This is about the local DFL government unions continued ripping off of the DFL Duluth getting poorer middle class, the real working people!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 8
The problem is you don’t know who your real enemy is. It’s the feds
Wabeen, we don’t get to vote on “gross federal spending on wars and the military” that’s why you’re not hearing any “peeps”. Put up a blog on it and you’ll hear what you want to hear.
The new tax is not a bank-buster, but it’s bad public policy. It is an admission of failure by the Mayor & City Council to budget and prioritize. This dangerous precedent increases the likelihood that other coalitions and special interests will line up to try to circumvent the elected City Council and appeal directly to the strapped taxpayers. Minnesota’s business climate is already ranked in the bottom 20th percentile & Duluth’s climate even worse. Duluth has the highest combined local and state sales tax in Minnesota and its ability to grow, attract and retain jobs just took another hit.
Like or Dislike: 3 1
Well here’s my 2 cents for all it’s worth. It tees me off to no end that, while I live in a rural area with a Duluth address, I can’t vote on City officials or any referendums for the City. Though my taxes sure increase same as City dwellers. AND, you would think since I have taxable rental property in the City of Duluth
I’d qualify to vote, especially when it affects those taxes. Nope, don’t live there, can’t vote on City issues. What’s wrong with this picture? Guess I should just consider it fortunate that I was able to vote on the school board referendum.
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