Good news for Minot: No tax increase

Many, if not most, residents of Minot were outraged at the considerable property tax increase last year. That’s reasonable. No one likes to pay higher taxes, particularly when they aren’t associated with a notable increase in services.

The City of Minot offered a rational – if not pleasant – explanation for the increase last year. When previous leaders opted to use sales tax to fund routine services, it was a bad decision. Sales tax revenue can vary at any time, based on such things as an oil field boom and decline – things that have serious repercussions on population and thus commerce. Property tax is more reliable.

Signs this year point to the fact that the abhorrent increase last year was an adjustment to fiscal responsibility, not the beginning of a trend.

Last week, the City of Minot declared that budget numbers are adding up to no new tax increase for Minot property owners.

That’s good news on all fronts. Obviously, Minot taxpayers will be pleased. But it is also good news for the administration and city council. Last year’s increase prompted plenty of public criticism citing “over spending,” insensitivity and fiscal irresponsibility. Yet a one-year adjustment amounts to just that – no increase this year means, logically, that the city government is not routinely increasing taxes randomly. Furthermore this administration under City Manager Tom Barry has been uncommonly open with Minot Daily News when it comes to reviewing line items and explaining expenses in the budget.

The budget news last week should improve trust in the current city leadership.

Congratulations to Minot’s administration and city council for working toward a budget that won’t squeeze taxpayers next year.

Congratulations to taxpayers for knowing they aren’t likely looking at another increase.

It’s a rare win-win.

That’s a good thing.


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