I oppose the rise in property taxes proposed by the Kent City Council to balance the city’s budget for the following reasons:
• The council has already increased the garbage rates for customers in order to raise funds for repairing city streets.
• There is $11.4 million of financial reserves, according to city finance director Aaron BeMiller, of which $2.6 million can be used to pay off the debt of the ShoWare Center, leaving roughly a $9 million surplus.
• This surplus of roughly $9 million of financial reserves should be returned to the taxpayers in the form of drastically reduced property taxes or actual refund checks.
Other proposals to utilize assets of which the city owns already:
• Use the ShoWare Center as the new police headquarters.
• Fire the managing caretaker of the ShoWare since the center will now be the new police headquarters.
• Fire the city finance director and the chief administrative officer, which would save the city approximately $300,000 annually.
• Leave B&O tax rates where they are so as to further encourage businesses to relocate to Kent, instead of driving businesses away by raising the B&O taxes.
Once we reduce the city’s cost structure in these ways, the council will discover there is no need for higher taxes.
– Mark H. Ekern