I just got my 2017 property tax bill. The taxes on my modest 110-year-old home increased $491 (15 percent) this year. Since 2007, my taxes have increased 42 percent.
Growthaphiles will claim this is because my home is worth so much more. News flash, my home evaluation has increased only 13 percent in those 10 years, and home value is meaningless unless I sell — which I won’t until I can’t pay the taxes.
Our increased property taxes are directly attributable to growth in local government associated with the highly touted growth in our valley. In the last 10 years, levies for Boise City and Ada County have increased 41 percent and 30 percent, respectively.
We have been subjected to and have collectively consented to the notion that growth is good. Under this mantra local government and our Legislature promote growth through tax exemptions, marketing and propaganda, while we pay the bills.
Street closures, traffic congestion, urban sprawl, air pollution, crime, crowded schools and, yes, escalating property taxes all diminish our quality of life and debunk the concept of good growth. I much prefer my Boise and taxes of 10 and 20 years ago.
Folks, in the parlance of today, growth sucks.
William Goodnight, Boise