Letters: Why do we think raising St. Paul property taxes is the only answer for more services?

Missing businesses, missing taxes

St. Paul property taxes are high and now we want to include preschool costs paid for by residents and small businesses. But in St. Paul, a city of 300,000 residents, we are missing major taxpayers.

I recently purchased something from Lowe’s … in West St. Paul.  The receipt showed a WSP city sales tax and a Dakota County sales tax. Government buildings are tax-exempt as are churches, schools and non-profit organizations. What we don’t have is a Lowe’s, Home Depot, Best Buy, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, JoAnn Fabrics, Michaels, Petsmart, or Costco (West St Paul also has a Petco and a Menards). Not only is this a big loss of taxable income from owners and buyers, but we also lose out on the employment options for people who live here.

And, when property taxes increase on homeowners, especially those on a fixed income or low-income households, and small businesses, with profit margins that can’t keep up with the tax increases, it is a no-win situation for everyone in the city. Midway, Sun-Ray, Highland, and downtown are areas that could sustain these stores among others.

What makes St. Paul residents have to shop in the suburbs to purchase everyday items from these missing businesses? And why do we think raising property taxes in St. Paul on residents and small businesses is the only answer to pay for necessary services?

Cynthia McArthur, St. Paul

Clear and present dangers

The picture of former U.S. Court of Appeals Judge J. Michael Luttig in Friday’s Pioneer Press, where he is spewing his paranoia to the January 6 Committee, shows pretty clearly he is afraid of a heck of a lot more than Donald Trump and the some 80 million who voted for him, which may have included some fake ballots stuffed in the boxes.

Our country faces a number of “ clear and present” dangers. The orange man is well down the list.

T.J. Sexton, St. Paul

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