Is This the Best Time for a Bozeman Tax Increase? [OPINION]
I’ve lived in Bozeman for 23 years. I currently reside outside the city limits but lived in Bozeman for the first half of those years.
I've seen many tax increases coupled with impact fees that always seemed to come at the wrong time for many residents.
Tax And Spend
We could point to a lot of city spending “mistakes” over the past few years. Mandeville Farms, the Story Mansion, and the infamous BearCat have all left taxpayers scratching their heads. And all have yearly maintenance costs attached to them that must be kept in the budget.
While the current commission has not made all these questionable decisions, they do point to a city commission history of questionable decision-making.
Bozeman is growing and taxes are a necessity to keep the city running. Streets, sewer and water must be maintained, trees trimmed and snow plowed.
Businesses pay a larger portion of property taxes per square foot than residential, but Bozeman is still not as business friendly as it could be in my opinion.
The more businesses, the more employees, homeowners and taxpayers are generated.
Bozeman should be the easiest place in Montana to start a business, not one of the hardest.
Bozeman unemployment has been low in recent months but a sizable group of those fortunate employees are in service jobs that don’t build a huge retirement nest egg or tax base.
Some Final Thoughts
The city commission usually does what it wants regardless of public input, so I would expect another tax increase and some budget items that might make one scratch their head or roll their eyes.
It’s just the way we’ve always done it. But that doesn’t make it right or timely.
If there is one positive out of all of this it would be that Bozeman has not had a single riot since the arrival of the BearCat. I guess we should be thankful for small favors.