Last Friday, as a hardcore show packed the bug jar, Alex White gave a speech to a sparse crowd at Pandaman next door.
“I want to talk about one small thing, taxes.” The Green Party candidate started “It is a boring subject I know, but it pays for everything we do.”
The city claimed last year that we were $42 million dollars short in taxes last year. When a city becomes short of money it becomes a question of what we do or do not keep.
These cuts could take many forms, library hours, rec centers, the police force, or some of the many festivals the city hosts every year.
There is a solution to that would clean up the deficit: fixing corporate tax loop holes.
“Every dollar we give to these companies in the form of tax breaks is another dollar that has to be picked up by the rest of us. It’s another dollar the city can’t use.” Alex White explains “It never seems to occur to the city to reevaluate the money we give to corporations and landlords who do not invest back into the community”
White went on to lost off a number of properties that paid significantly less than what the land was valued at. The differences were staggering, some paid as little as $40 a month.
While explaining property taxes, White spoke very matter of fatly, never raising his voice. He described the problem and the proposed solution much as a teacher would explain something to a class.
And in the end he has a point. Many of our city’s problems come down to money or the lack there of. By addressing the loop holes we have in the tax laws, we would be making a huge dent in the financial troubles our city faces.
The mayor’s race has yet to fully unfold, and many platforms are still up in the air, but Alex White and the Green party has caught my interest and I am very eager to see what they have to say as political offices become up for grabs.