(Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire File)

(Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire File)

Opinion: It is time for the city to stop over-collecting and give our money back

Our city needs to understand that we use our own money far better than they.

  • Wednesday, January 19, 2022 3:34pm
  • Opinion

Thank you, Ken Koelsch, for the thoughtful opinion piece in the Empire on Jan. 17. I hope that every taxpayer and every City and Borough of Juneau Assembly member reads it.

Far too often, the government looks at the tax money they receive as theirs in the first place, rather than the taxpayer’s money.

When we choose to live in a city, we agree to pay taxes to fund the city’s essential services: fire, police, water/sewer, etc. However, there are limits on how much we are willing to give to the city to increase their “rainy day” account over and above what is reasonable for our size city. (According to Ken Koelsch, the CBJ’s “Rainy Day” Restricted Budget Reserve is $15.6 million. Any of us would believe that sufficient.)

Since the beginning of 2020, working families and our small businesses have been walloped due to COVID-19 and its negative effects on Juneau’s economy. Couple that with the rampant inflation affecting prices of all goods and services, we are stretched to the limit.

Our city needs to understand that we use our own money far better than they. We need it to pay our rapidly increasing heating bills, our increasing water and sewer bills, our rapidly increasing grocery prices, our increasing gas prices, increasing transportation costs, our credit card bills, our rapidly increasing property taxes (both residential and commercial), to name just a few.

When we have control of our own money, we will also use it to purchase goods and services in Juneau, bringing more sales tax back to the city.

It is time for the city to stop over-collecting and give our money back, to the working people, to the taxpayers of Juneau. Inflation and high city taxes make Juneau an even more expensive place to live now than in 2019. Please, stop making it worse!

• Peggy Ann McConnochie is a small business owner who resides in Juneau. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

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