2-27-14 Waconia Patriot Letters to the Editor

429 bond is unfair tax
to city’s property owners

To the editor:

The 2014 Infrastructure Project consists of seven projects. Proposed funding for six projects is the 429 assessment bond. Whenever the city uses a 429 bond, state statue requires the city to assess the property owner 20 percent of the project.
The statue uses terms like, “special benefit or property value increase” to justify using the 429 bond. Assessments are a legal way to extort money from property owners. Assessments have little regard for your ability to pay this unfair tax; there’s no regard if you’re unemployed, widowed, retired, disabled, or a single income household.
Orono, Apple Valley, Elk River choose to not use the 429 bond. Their mayors and councils use creative thinking to manage there infrastructure. Waconia prefers to use “that’s the way we have done it in the past” method.
I probably wouldn’t feel this way if the city was using our money in the best interest of all its tax payers. In 2013, the city took in $3,668,000 in monthly utility charges and $147,000 for water tower rental. The city is currently using that $147,000 in the General Fund. The city needs to change policy and use that $147,000 for infrastructure repairs and replacement. In 2014, $559,000 of your tax dollars will be used to help fund the ice arena.
Responsible money management is the key to solving the 429 bond issue. Each year only do projects you have the funding for. No one is immune from the 429 bond. The older sections of the city will always feel the brunt of this unfair tax. As years pass, every addition in the city will feel the impact of the 429 bond. When these new additions are built, the infrastructure is in place with no cost to the city. The city needs only to maintain the infrastructure with monthly billing.
As a Property Owner facing the 429 bond for the 2014 Infrastructure Project, I ask for your support. Call the mayor and council and tell them to stop using the 429 bond, or email citycouncilmembers@waconia.org.
As it stands today, only Marc Carrier has stated his opposition to assessments to residents for repairs and reconstruction to existing roads and infrastructure. The mayor and council’s decision is April 7. A 4-1 vote would keep the 429 bond alive. To be used again next year, possibility against you. As taxpayers and voters, we have an option next election.
If current officials choose not to change policy and continue to use the 429 bond, I strongly urge you to use your vote to change mayor and council. City government should support the values of its citizens.

Dave Segner
St. Bonifacius
(Waconia property owner)

Why the high approval ratings for Gov. Dayton?

To the editor:

My jaw dropped as I read the front page of the Sunday Tribune that Governor Dayton’s approval rating had risen to 58 percent.
These people must have been on the North Pole to not have been negatively impacted by his last year in office.
After pushing through tax increases that were supposed to affect only the super rich we found out differently. The new sales tax that he put on the farers and the “business to business” sales taxes went all the way to the bottom of the ladder. After the legislative session was over he woke up to their impact and admitted they were a mistake — a little too late.
After the electronic pulltab fiasco I thought he would keep an eye on Zygi Wilf and the Vikings. Instead he gave them everything they asked for, including the sweet seat license deal. Afterward he admitted he made a mistake — too late.
Almost everybody thought we should ease into the MNsure program with some caution because it was the biggest change to health insurance in the history of Minnesota. Instead, Governor Dayton was determined to jam it down our throats even as red flags were waving from the start of the project. This time is a little different, though, because he won’t aqdmit he made a mistake.
I am a strong believer in letting someone learn from their mistakes as long as they don’t do it again — and again and again. Giving Governor Dayton anything but the poorest approval rating stretches common sense.

Haran Dobratz
New Germany

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