To the Editor:
Although an interesting topic, “Can we be too generous?” is somewhat misdirected in regard to the closing line of the column. The closing line of this column says, “We need to at least be aware of the complexity of a small community’s economics.”
Economics is a study of how a society handles its scarce resources. The biggest economic problem in the town of Creston is the high residential and commercial taxes — that is why we have empty storefronts and dozens of homes for sale, and few (two in 2012) new home constructions. So our scarcity is human resources to pay those taxes.
When I moved here 17 years ago, there were just fewer than 5,000 people in the town of Creston; now there are just over 5,000, yet the property taxes have had amazing increases — greatly out of proportion with the increase in population. And, unless the resident and business owners can get great tax breaks, or a tax-free card like the Ramada, it will be difficult to keep businesses and ultimately, people in the town of Creston. I know people that have moved just outside the town limits because taxes are less. It is not too complex to understand. People want to sell and move out of the town because it is too expensive to own a home and/or run a business within the town limits.
Yes, there is big highlighted news about the one or two per cent increase, the point being that there is an increase! Last year, an elderly widow mentioned to me that it is difficult to feed herself because her house taxes increased by $200. I cringed trying figure out how she is supposed come up with that extra $200. Good thing there is a Food Bank so she can at least be fed!
How are the elderly, which is what our population is more and more made up of, on fixed incomes, to cover the increase in property taxes? Can we be too generous about this? Absolutely not — property taxes have to decrease. There are numerous ways this can be accomplished, but that is another topic.