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Letter: Bismarck tax increase ignored voter concerns

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The City of Bismarck Commission passed an enormous budget increase on Sept. 14, in lieu of resident concerns regarding large tax increases. Property taxes will increase by $4 million. That’s an increase of $126 per year for a $240,000 home. That tax increases as home value increases. This, along with the double increase in utility bills (caused by the major increase in the water rate table in 2019) has resulted in a severe negative impact on Bismarck homeowners and taxpayers. The budget increases are mostly due to city infrastructure costs. For the last 2-3 years, streets have been torn up all over the city. Residents have not been able to traverse city streets with out coming across several street closures. Many of these street repairs and re-repairs were not needed. This has also increased hundreds, if not thousands of homeowner special assessments. It appears Mayor Bakken and Commissioners Guy and Marquardt are not listening to concerns brought to them through Commissioner meetings and the Bismarck Tribune opinion letters, as they continue to vote yes on very sharp tax increases. I commend Commissioners Zenker and Splonskowski for their support to not increase taxes so steeply. It’s been an uphill battle for these two commissioners. I would label this commission as the “3-2, I’ll Sting You” commission. I do support normal tax increases such as for city employee pay raises and the need to increase our police force. Guy has the portfolio for roads and streets and Marquardt for water and sewer. Go figure!

City businesses will also be affected negatively, as available spending money decreases dramatically for residents.

I ask you to support Commissioner Zenker in next year’s election, and not support the three who continue to ignore taxpayer concerns.

Lucas Schmidt, Bismarck

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