Letter: Portsmouth should freeze spending, property taxes

Posted 5/10/22

To the editor:

This letter is addressed to Portsmouth town government, with an urgent request to freeze spending and property taxes for the next two fiscal years due to hyper-inflation, upcoming …

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Letter: Portsmouth should freeze spending, property taxes

Posted

To the editor:

This letter is addressed to Portsmouth town government, with an urgent request to freeze spending and property taxes for the next two fiscal years due to hyper-inflation, upcoming recession and high taxes.

Let's look at several areas that will impact the lives of Portsmouth taxpayers and make it increasingly more difficult to pay higher property taxes.

Taxation

• Taxes are consuming a disproportionate part of household income. High taxes are a threat to our economic well-being as a country and town. 

• Portsmouth property taxes have increased approximately 50 percent in the past 10 years. Portsmouth now has the seventh-highest household tax burden in Rhode Island. During the same period, inflation averaged less than 1.7 percent.

• Portsmouth taxpayers are tapped out, using household money needed for their families to pay high property taxes, which suggests a lack of respect for the Portsmouth property taxpayer. 

• Out-of-control spending and resultant taxes, threatens our citizens ability to meet the next set of imminent challenges.

Inflation

Inflation has increased 8.5 percent over last year, a 40-year high. Latest projections indicate 10 percent inflation later in the year. It's estimated that the average household will pay $5,000 more for living expenses this year. A few examples may prove helpful:

• Heating oil has gone up 130 percent over last year.

• Portsmouth water rates are up 100 percent in the past 10 years.

• Gas at the pump: Not sure, as I haven't been to the gas station for an hour.

• National Grid just announced that electricity rates this fall will increase over 50 percent.

• Household purchasing power (your paycheck after tax deductions) has had the largest decline (10.9 percent) in the past year since records began after World War II. Higher prices (8.5 percent), with (10.9 percent) less money, is not a match made in heaven.

• Inflation is the silent killer of the middle class. It not only increases ones cost of living, but reduces the value of every hard earned dollar we have in savings.

Federal reserve

• The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates six to eight times in the next year or two, to calm inflation.

• Home mortgage rates and interest on auto loans and credit cards will soar.

• We are entering the most aggressive monetary tightening in over 40 years.

• The national debt of ($30 trillion) will influence all aspects of life.

Recession

• A recession of unknown magnitude may have caused a reduction of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 1.4 percent in the first quarter.

• Major banks predict a recession during the 2022-2024 period with all its trappings: job loss, minus GDP and wage growth, fear and business closings.

• With the stock market down, year to date, 16 percent as measured by the S&P 500 and 26 percent by the NASDAQ, recession storm clouds are here.

Conclusion: The information above is widely available. It’s past time you end your “wish list” of things to spend money on. The Portsmouth taxpayer has had to dump that folly a long time ago.

Which begs the question: Why should the Portsmouth taxpayer continue to do without for their families to support your spending schemes? Portsmouth town government’s sworn duty is to protect its citizens. Town spending and inordinate property tax increases over the past decade have weakened Portsmouth taxpayers’ ability to navigate through hyper-inflation and recession. It's imperative that you act now — freeze spending and property tax increases for the next two fiscal years.

Thank you for your service to our community.

Joe Lorenz

Chairman, Portsmouth Republican Town Committee

200 Prospect Farm Road

Portsmouth

 

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