by Grand Forks Herald
September 5, 2012 at 1:15 am in Grand Forks Herald
Grand Forks City Council members voted Tuesday to approve Mayor Mike Brown’s preliminary city budget, which includes a 1 mill-increase in property taxes. Continue Reading
Tags: city council, fire station, GF and EGF, Grand Forks, taxes, updates 25 Comments »
A special thanks to those that voted against Measure 2. The citizens of ND had their chance but blew it.
Hot debate. What do you think? 37 29
You can say that again! The Chicken Littles fell for it hook, line, and sinker.
Most politicians figure there’s a never ending supply of money. Just raise the taxes and keep right on spending. There’s always more where that came from!
We need to cut spending, lower the taxes and make do until the economy comes back.
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 12
Nice headline”1mil increase” why not just name it residents got the shaft. 1 mil for the city, 1 mil for the park district, 4.8% for utilities, then 3 mils next year, plus we’ll raise your property value and raise your taxes even more!
I thought the Governor was going to pass tax reform and lower property and income taxes? oh wait, it’s election time that’s just to get you to vote for him then he’ll have an excuse for not doing it after he gets re elected.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 47 3
Here is another great example of why, when retirement time came, I moved out of Grand Forks. Taxed to death is an accurate description. But by only mentioning a few of the items which go towards a persons total tax bill, the public is deceived. A few years back, a city hall worker told me to figure 2.2 percent on the market value of my house as what my total tax bill would approximate. He was right within $2. So on my $100,000 house, the $2200 dollar tax bill was a stunner, at least to me. I moved to another state and the tax on my $100,000 house was $400 and, as a senior citizen, the rate was frozen there. I moved to yet another state four years ago and bought a newer house for about $150k and the total tax is now about $1100. The largest tax by far is not the city tax but the school tax and that is not even mentioned in the article. I would love to move back to Grand Forks and live out my days there but it is now financially impossible until I need nursing home care.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 48 2
Increased property taxes in GF. A 13K consultant for a pool in EGF. Notice how elected officials can spend so freely when it isn’t their money? But the problem is, they believe it’s theirs. In fact, they believe all your assets are theirs, they only have to decide how much to take. It’s like the scene in “Godfather II” where Fanucci takes the money out of the theater owner’s cigar box, while holding a knife to the face of his daughter. In the case of GF, the knife is property taxes and the daughter is your house.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 5
The issue was put forth to the voters to cut off the snakes head. When all of this was going down I stated that wait until the dust clears and you will see tax increases. This is where I get to say, ‘I told you so’.
Wait until the assessor comes to your house and raises your property taxes because of the cost of fuel increasing.. It will happen, you can bet your check on it.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 30 7
How about the elephant in the room about property taxes, that local gov’t taxing officials do not want to aknowledge: property tax exemptions.
How many businesses get property tax exemptions??? Businesses demand a property tax exemption when they build, remodel or add on.
These property tax emeptions, whether partial or full, result in the property tax payers to absorb the loss revenue on their tax bill.
What gets me, is how many of these property tax breaks are given to out of state corporations??? Like they will not build here if they do not get the property tax exemption? They want to locate here anyway, as they know it would be a profitable business location here.
If you want lower property taxes, then protest the property tax exemptions that the city council gives. Its your money they are spending.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 35 2
All of this whining is completely hypocritical and inappropriate. YOU re-elected the mayor in a landslide.
You reap what you sew.
Man up and accept responsibility for your actions.
Hot debate. What do you think? 31 17
Et tu, flyingnurse? Whining? GF has a weak mayor system. Brown has a full time job which pays him a 6-figure salary. Being mayor is his hobby. The president of the council runs the show; I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his budget. Don’t blame the electorate for a lack of competent candidates.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 31 5
I mostly agree. Especially now that we are looking down the barrel of one of the most pathetic Presidential fields since Carter/Ford.
That said, the Governator became Governor of CA after the electorate recalled Gray Davis after he ran on one platform and tried to pass a budget on another.
Our choices may be limited, but in the end if they represent us it is our fault. We have to own it. In a democracy there is no one to blame but the electorate.
Like or Dislike: 11 5
Could be. But in GF there are no primaries. You’re stuck with the people who run. This year, you had an incumbent who did nothing fot 12 years and an opponent just out of college. Not much of a choice. Perhaps a None of the Above would have been of some comfort.
Like or Dislike: 18 5
Since I am anonymous here, I can say he is not much of a doctor either. Several years back, he and another doctor performed major surgery on my wife in which most of her female organs were suspended to correct major problems. After the surgery, he came by her room on his rounds the next day and was flipping through her chart when I noticed him start to quickly flip through all the pages back and forth. Then he asked the nurse if any of her chart was left at the nurses station – No. So, in what seemed like desperation, he asked my wife when had she had her pre-surgery blood work done. Her answer – Never done – seemed to stun him. No blood work done prior to a major surgery. You could just see the malpractice $ lighting up his eyeballs and he did a quick smile and good day and left the room. But he checked her twice per day the next day and had the nurses running tests what seemed to be around the clock. He even discharged her two days early (she felt fine) and was probably glad that he had skated on that one. I did not vote for him for mayor after that and since then we have left the city and I would think his holding those two positions are asking for a bit too much on his plate.
Like or Dislike: 11 6
For the record I voted against brown. I think the way to send a message to city council and these proposed hikes would be to start recall elections against everyone on the council.
Its a tool the people have, and the only clear way to send a message.
Like or Dislike: 19 5
That was my point in bringing up Gray Davis. It would send a very clear message, whether or not it was successful
Like or Dislike: 2 1
” The president of the council runs the show; I wouldn’t be surprised if it was his budget. ”
Probably explains why Brown was a NO-SHOW, with Hal presiding.
” I think the way to send a message to city council and these proposed hikes would be to start recall elections against everyone on the council.”
Everyone EXCEPT Terry Bjerke, who invested untold hours and effort to fix some of the more glaring flaws of the budget presented. I don’t agree with every change he would have made–but–most of them were entirely appropriate, with some needing some more explanation for me to understand the ramifications.
Terry Bjerke is to be HEARTILY COMMENDED as the main and sometimes only proponent of fiscal responsibility on the council. He’s the O-N-L-Y member who considers the taxpayer FIRST. If Bjerke had gotten some support from the council, we’d be paying for the new fire station up-front with no debt and no interest payments. Instead, you can be assured that whatever we’re told about the cost of the new fire station will be under-estimated by about half.
The citizens of Grand Forks are under attack by the City Council, the School Board, and the Park Board. We can hope that the Airport Authority has done enough damage for a decade or two; and may leave us alone for awhile. Some truth is coming out about the Library Board, too.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 24 6
Hal’s motto is “Cogito ergo spendo.” Except it’s everyone else’s money. If he ran his liquor stores the way he runs the city, he’d be broke.
Like or Dislike: 15 4
I like your comment “The citizens of Grand Forks are under attack by the City Council, the School Board, and the Park Board”. This is an accurate statement considering Grand Forks is a member of ICLEI http://www.iclei.org/index.php?id=11454 Go to their website and learn what they are all about. Then go to Freedom Advocates and find out what UN Agenda 21 is all about.http://www.freedomadvocates.org/images/pdf/Agenda21-Earth%20Summit-The%20United%20Nations%20Programme%20of%20Action%20From%20Rio.pdf George W. signed us on at the Rio conference in 1992. You may have a knee jerk reaction that it’s time to get the tinfoil out to protect yourself but believe me, this is a very real threat to the sovereignty of our nation and it is designed to creep in at the local level and in the indoctrination of our students from pre-school onward. The plan is to tax us to death so we can no longer afford to own private property such as cars and homes. Most local officials have no clue because it comes in the guise of doing the right thing for our communities.
How many of you have a smart meter on your home? I do and after a discussion with an employee of my electric provider he was able to give me a printout of my energy consumption hour by hour for an entire year. How could that information be used? Other examples are green spaces, smart cities, walkable communities, so called calming devices. Did you know a speed bump is no long a speed bump. It’s now called a traffic calming devise. There’s so much more. Start reading, the information is online, the official documents are online. This is about so much more that a property tax hike but that’s where the journey starts. It’s about your freedom, your inalienable rights? Wake up. Get informed.
Like or Dislike: 3 1
I have noticed the “machine” rolling out in GF. Tell me you all aren’t STILL using the electronic voting machine. After that is solved, set laws about what they can and can’t do. And I am guessing you only need half the council you have. Trim it. I love ND.
Like or Dislike: 3 3
People complaining about raising taxes to pay for things……Huh? Can’t imagine that ever happening before….Well execpt every time it’s raised for something you don’t believe in….If you believe int what it’s raised for, then What The HELL….we need that…..In the end that’s what this always comes down to…Those who disagree with what it’s being raised for will cry foul at every opportunity……But will often be quite if they do agree….It’s not so much the tax as what it’s going towards
Like or Dislike: 7 12
Neither the Council president or the Mayor construct the budget. The department heads meet with the adminstration and submit what they feel they need to run their departments. There is a lot that goes into the budget planning process. The final figures are presented to the Council for approval. To lay the “blame” on the Mayor or the Council president for the budget seems a bit childish. I am also a tax payer and don’t want to be taxed to death but a city has operating costs. Can they be cut? Yes. Terry Bjerke has made some great points in finding areas for cuts. I don’t agree with all of his suggestions but am happy to know he is examining the budget and has ideas that could be implemented to save money.
Like or Dislike: 9 1
GF wants big city amenities on a small city budget. My house in GF is valued at around $125,000 give or take. My taxes are over $2000 a year.
My mother’s house in Denver is valued at $125,000 give or take & she pays $600 a year in taxes.
It is all about priorities. How many pot holes could be repaired with the cost of the Wellness Center? How many hockey rinks does a town of 55000 – 60000 need?
Lobster taste on a chicken budget. Somebody should ask the council how much taxpayer money is being spent to be a member of ICLIE http://www.iclei.org/ . Their membership form doesn’t even list the cost. Quite a hefty sum from what I’ve heard. That organization leads local governments down a path of good intentions with disastrous outcomes for the citizens in the form of increased taxes and regulation that will have a huge impact. The money spent on that sort of membership is better spent elsewhere.
Like or Dislike: 5 1
Property rights and sustainable development.
Like or Dislike: 4 1
Grand Forks is run like a medieval Italian city-state, with Hal Gershman as the Doge. A small minority of very wealthy people has the majority pay for their whims. This is what gets you all the boondoggles. High taxes do not affect the standard of living of the aristocracy, while pushing others out of their houses.
Like or Dislike: 7 1
Ok….I can agree that there might be some spending that isn’t a priority….Especially if it’s nothing you see benificial to you or your family. But when it comes to things like a new fire station, schools or other public works to go into fast building areas like the south end that you know will require them before long one way or other…..Then you need to consider that it’s better to do them now than to wait. It will cost more if you wait.
I worked on a smaller cities street department and saw the effects of local politicians being afraid to spend right the first time so people like the ones here wouldn’t blow a gasket. They’d under spend the first time and that dollar they thought they were saving today cost five or ten tomorrow when it had to get done the right way eventually.
From first had experience I know that some segmenst of the public will always believe that all spending by the government is wrong……That is until they need a pot hole fixed in front of their street, or their street cleared faster even though the emergancy routes come first…..Those things somehow don’t cost anything in some people’s minds……..Truth be told…If I owned a regular priced house rather than a mobile home maybe I too would be shouting foul at some of the spending……My trailer tax is very low, but still I’d see reason in spending on things like a new fire station on the south end, and eventually a new school down there…
Like or Dislike: 2 2
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