Having come back for a second mayoral run, Mayor Tim Helbling saw his popularity and is now reaping the rewards and taking advantage of it. Mandan, you will see a 17.2 percent increase in your property tax bill from the city this next year.

With the added huge increase of the school district being levied to us, not the state, this year and then combined with the huge park district increase, guess what Mandan, we will now be almost as high as we were before the property tax relief act of 2007 (our own Sen. Dwight Cook's bills, which saved us in Mandan millions of dollars) where you saw the state "buy down" your property tax bills (not reduce them, just buy them down). This is due to the fact that our Mandan Public Schools budget has nearly doubled since that buydown.

They saw an opening to use the buydown and backfill it, as did the city and park district. So this year, in that 17.2 percent increase, Mandan is also charging you a higher tax bill than they need to just so they can pad their cash money market savings account at the bank. You are paying taxes just to have much of them put into the bank into cash savings. How do you feel about paying a 17.2 percent increase in your city property tax bills only to have some go into a savings account and not buy you any services?

I personally pay taxes with the expectations of paying for services; instead, the city feels they are better suited to invest your money, and not provide services with it. I wonder if they need a securities license in order for them to be my investment adviser as they clearly are trying to be. Property taxes are back to being a sad story again.

Wayne Papke, Mandan