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Stick to limited government

To the Editor,

Mayor Miller did not run on a platform to increase Weirton’s tax revenues. In fact, he promised the first time, if elected, he would eliminate the B&O tax when the sales tax took effect. Obviously, that didn’t happen.

Conservatives say limited government is best for the nation’s economy. What they mean is government should stick to providing basic, essential services that everyone needs and let free market forces address the rest of the needs and wants of the population.

The Business Development Corporation is a private entity funded essentially through taxpayer grant’s and some private contributions whose purpose is to develop business interests in our area, which in turn produce jobs. That is fine, no one opposes job creation per se.

But when gung-ho public officials propose what will be a back-handed de facto tax assessment to expand our water and sewage treatment facilities, two and three fold, not for the benefit of the existing 8,500 users, but to attract potential industry that can increase the tax base, i.e. the tax revenue the city can collect, that is blatant overreach from the conservative perspective.

I doubt our local council was elected to create jobs and increase the tax base. Most residents vote for their council member to oversee the efficient administration of basic, essential public services we all use and to be available to assist them when a problem arises with one of those services.

The demographics of Weirton show the median age of the population is 46. One third of adults in Weirton are seniors. Weirton’s population has had a negative growth rate for the last 50 years and a birth rate insufficient to replace itself. Added together, that means the city’s population will continue to age with an increasing number of retirees whose incomes are fixed and diminishing. It is not the responsibility of the present water and sewer users, let alone this aging population segment, to pony up for 20 years to create jobs and increase Weirton’s tax base.

The third and final vote for the passage of this proposal will occur October 9 at the council’s monthly meeting at 7 pm in the city building. If you have concerns about this issue, you can call your council member and/or attend the meeting.

Blaise Hogan

Weirton

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