To the Editor:
Three years ago the taxpayers of Boulder Junction overwhelmingly voted “no” to spend millions of dollars on a new library and community center.
The vote was 75 in favor and 192 against a new building.
Well, here we go again.
In September 2011, in an “advisory” vote, only 61 taxpayers voted yes for the same idea. This represents only 7 percent of the voters in Boulder Junction. There is clearly less support for this type of deficit spending project than three years ago. The town board then authorized more money spent on the same idea.
Do you really want 7 percent of the voters raising your taxes over 20 percent for the next 20 years? I do not.
This is an increase on top of what you already pay.
The costs presented so far do not accurately represent the total costs. It only represents the cost of the $2.3 million building. It does not include additional tax dollars needed to pay for increased maintenance and operating costs, preventive maintenance costs or new furniture for the library and community center. It also does not include the “regular” tax increases we have every year for existing services and debt.
On the 2012 tax bill, there was a 9.4 percent increase in Boulder Junction taxes that was used to pay debt and not provide additional services. In a recent Lakeland Times article, it was reported over two-thirds of the municipalities in Wisconsin held to tax increases of less than 1 percent or did not raise taxes at all.
More deficit spending for Boulder Junction to satisfy a small group will not bring more tourists, increase property values or help local business grow when they are forced to raise prices.
Unfortunately, property values continue to decline. As you may know, when property values decline, taxes by way of the mill rate are increased to generate the same amount of tax dollars needed for government services.
Eagle River is building a new $3.2 million library without taxpayer dollars. Mercer has raised several hundred thousand dollars before starting their project. But not in Boulder Junction, even though the consultant the town board hired advised we could raise as much as $500,000.
The town board of Boulder Junction has already spent more than $70,000 toward this project and some of that amount is being carried by the town as debt. That money would have been better spent on other priorities. By the lack of community support shown, it is clear this is not the right priority.
If you believe you pay enough in taxes, vote no at the meeting Thursday, Oct. 11.
We are taxed enough already.