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Letter to the editor: It’s still a new tax

To the editor:

I am in favor of affordable housing.

However, it is wrong for proponents of question three to say it does not increase our tax. Replacing the expiring tax with a NEW tax, the “repurposed tax” is a NEW tax. It increases our tax. Claiming that it does not raise tax promotes obscurity rather than the much sought-after transparency.

Given the abysmal record of the city on collecting money, investing money properly, favoritism to developers, and obscurity in dealings (Oread, Rock Chalk Park, etc.), the last thing I want to do is give the city any more money without a clear plan on how it will be used. “It goes into a trust” isn’t a plan for affordable housing.

Affordable housing should be housing that people can afford on their income. Subsidizing housing requires taxpayers (rather than property owners/developers) to pay the bill for housing costs that are too high. What strategies will be used to actually lower costs and to make housing affordable?

I am encouraged that if the tax renewal fails this time that there will still be time before it expires in 2019 to modify the resolution and include it in a subsequent election. Money that goes directly to Catholic Charities, Family Promise, Bert Nash or other direct providers of assistance would get my vote.

I hope to read more plans to implement affordable housing. But right now, I will vote “No” on question three.

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