Our May election in North Bend was a good example of what happens when only 1,960 voters out of 7,034 registered voters bother to vote. As a result of this low turnout, the Pool Tax Levy passed and all NB property owners will now pay a “pool tax” (above the usual 3% increase allowed by law) for the next five years.
NB taxpayers already pay over $350,000 per year for the pool. Now, we’ll pay a second annual tax, plus admission to use the pool. The city also received over $100K of so-called “free” grant money for the pool.
Shortly before the pool levy was passed, the City Finance Director “reported” a $1,045,000 (not a typo) beginning balance “mistake” in the city’s 2020-2021 budget. This “error” was brought to the attention of former City Administrator O’Conner and city council last June by a qualified NB citizen before the May 2021 election. Our mayor and several current council members were aware of the balance error long before it was publicly disclosed in an April council meeting—held just before the election. Apparently, none of the council members listened or read their email...or did they? Some councilors knew the money was there all along, but didn’t want you to know.
Instead, the pool was closed and then “held hostage.” pass the “Pool Tax Levy” or you don’t get the pool. This tax is nothing more than a sleight of hand to retrieve the $180 Public Safety Fee that voters overwhelmingly took back from the city in the May 2020 election.
With the passage of this levy, the city has managed to bamboozle voters again. Our city continues to dig into our pockets when they seem to be unable to keep track of the money they already have. Starting this October, property taxes will be increased more than usual for the next five years.
Fellow NB residents, please pay attention to your city council and make sure to vote.
Fool me once, shame on you.... Fool me twice, shame on me. Your vote really does matter.