With levy increases approved late last year, my wife and I are looking at a 15.2% property tax jump for 2020. If it holds true, the real estate tax on our homestead will have shot up by 45% in just the last five years. The 15 and 45 are pretty big percentage numbers — especially with the 15.2% bump occuring in a single year.

Are we actually getting more as we pay more?

And will any of us actually confront our county commissioners, our city of Duluth councilors, or our Duluth School Board members over our rising property taxes? No, we'll just quietly pay.

We're all victims of the tax boost. But those most injured by big tax boosts are those just barely hanging on to modest homesteads — the people who desperately want to keep and to stay in their homes. Tiny, reasonable tax increases might be tolerable to those who have modest means, but heavy, excessive jumps in expenses push them closer to having to make lifestyle changes, such as selling and moving to lesser residences.

I remind county commissioners, city councilors, and our School Board members that they are representing all taxpayers, the wealthy and the not wealthy. I want them to keep in mind that, as they spend, with little oversight, the money is not theirs; it belongs to us taxpayers. And we want representatives to spend more prudently, to operate more efficiently and at less cost, and to keep our property taxes within reason."

Frank Bolos