Public input welcome to stretch tax dollars
Christmas is rapidly approaching and so are the property tax bills. Not a great combination for sure and literally nobody takes solace in that, including us. However, from the perspective of taxes paid for city operations and government, we are pleased the burden continues to be reduced. Taxes paid for city services constitute approximately 34 percent of all taxes paid.
For the third straight year, the city of Superior’s portion of taxes has decreased. It is not an accident, but rather a product of hard work, holding the line and providing services with less. We, along with the entire Common Council extend our thanks to all city departments, employees and the joint efforts that have contributed to our ability to keep the taxes down for all city purposes. Doing so is difficult in an economy that has negatively affected literally every individual, home, business, and yes, even government. On a daily basis, we serve you with full recognition of difficulties and pressures placed on all citizens and taxpayers. While many municipalities have had to reduce or eliminate desired and necessary services, we have all worked very hard to ensure a continuation of all services without tax increases for city services. In fact, we are thankful to have been able to modestly reduce this burden.
Your city government has been operating on a budget level that has not changed since 2008. What does that mean? It is a combination of reductions in all state revenues, some to the level of 50 percent along with some local revenues over the years. Flat growth, rising fixed costs such as utilities, equipment and materials have also had a dramatic effect on maintaining services. But we continually seek efficiencies, provide up to date equipment and strive to maintain a solid, trained and experienced workforce that are second to none.
We thank the citizens of Superior for being patient when some scheduled services had to wait due to other priorities or emergency issues. Many major projects and direct services have been completed throughout this year. Many more positive developments will be witnessed as we turn to a new year — with a reduced city tax burden.
Our goal is for continual improvement and efficiency in all services. We appreciate your support and constructive feedback that will ensure reaching those benchmarks.
Mayor Bruce Hagen,
Council Vice President