Taxes are important, but what is more important is the quality of your community, and the value of your home. I have NEVER voted for a budget that raised the tax rate. In fact, I have lowered the tax rate from 66% to 54% while I was Mayor. What does this mean? It means that if you had a $300,000 home in Dayton in 2014 you paid $1,920 in City taxes. That same $300,000 home in 2020 is paying $300 less ($1620). This is possible because Dayton is seen as a community of GREAT potential, and developers WANT to sell homes here.
I just spent a fortune on my new home – Should I be worried?
Sadly, I think so. Of the eight people running for council seats, only one other than myself has pledged to invest in our community. The rest want to cut, cut, cut. I’m in favor of being very frugal, but I have NEVER witnessed a City cut it’s way to greatness.
A tale of two Cities
I grew up in Brooklyn Center. My parents bought a home there in 1960 that was a potato field the year before. BC was very much like Dayton is today – a high quality, growing community. BC was doing everything right. They had parks and good roads. They had a library. They even had a world class mall. The best developers and companies were moving to BC.
What BC did wrong – and they didn’t realize it for decades – is that they weren’t special. They did what they were supposed to be doing….but nothing more. They did things well, but they did the minimum. It wasn’t until 20 or 30 years later that they noticed that the best developers and best companies were no longer building in BC. They had moved on to other communities that had set higher standards.
My parent’s home grew in value by 400% in 20 years (they sold in 1981). That same home increased 100% during the next 40 years. Once a City gets a reputation, it’s nearly impossible to change it. We’ve been growing for six years. How we invest in the next ten to fourteen years will set our reputation.
How does this relate to Dayton?
As I mentioned, I’m one of only TWO candidates who wants to lower taxes AND invest in the community. This next council will set spending priorities for the next ten to 14 years. Your home will only continue to grow in value as long as the standards we put in place are HIGHER than the standards of our neighbors. One candidate didn’t want to spend 3% of the cost of our interchange project to include trees/landscaping and safety lights (even though we would required that of any private development in our town). Another didn’t want to improve the safety of a busy intersection in Dayton, even though the County was willing to pay half the cost (something they rarely do). I understand that these candidates mean well, but their results will be a disaster. And the most tragic part is that the lack of investment will show gradually – in your home value.