Chesterfield Quick to Demand More from Taxpayers
Apparently, Chesterfield lawmakers are feeling the financial stress of the COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent economic downturn. In the latest newsletter to citizens, the mayor announced that the city will “put before the voters a very small property tax.” Already? We are still in the midst of this crisis, and Chesterfield is already asking for more money from taxpayers?
Though it’s felt like a long time for those of us working from home or locked in small apartments, we are only six months into this economic episode. It’s difficult to determine how much the economic shutdown will affect yearly revenues after only six months, especially since we don’t know when the economy will rebound. With so much unknown, how can Chesterfield have already decided that it needs a property tax? Even if Chesterfield really does need revenue right now, is this the best time to levy additional taxes on citizens when unemployment remains high and businesses still haven’t recovered?
Is Chesterfield really in such dire need for additional funding? This certainly isn’t the first economic downturn that the city has seen and probably won’t be the last, so why does the city seem so unprepared? Why not shift some budget priorities around until the economy picks back up?
Cities should practice some fiscal responsibility themselves before they ask taxpayers for more of their hard-earned money. Millions of Americans have had to make financial sacrifices as a result of the pandemic; cities should do the same before reaching into the pockets of taxpayers. Chesterfield is probably one of many cities that will struggle with lost revenue, but it appears to be one of the first in Missouri to try and raise taxes as a result. Hopefully this isn’t a glimpse into the future for all of us; a tax increase is the last thing that people need right now.