Reader's View: No secret why population decreasing
The March 24 story, "Population: Flat line," quoted a professor of economics from the College of St. Scholastica and included a chart showing Duluth's population to be at minus-0.4 percent. The professor stated that economic growth comes from two...
The March 24 story, "Population: Flat line," quoted a professor of economics from the College of St. Scholastica and included a chart showing Duluth's population to be at minus-0.4 percent. The professor stated that economic growth comes from two things, more workers or more productive workers.
As for attracting workers, I might offer some reasons why Duluth isn't being chosen by families.
A failing school district cost taxpayers a reported $437 million for a school-buildings program. The city enacted both a streetlight fee and pothole fee. Duluth has one of Minnesota's highest city sales tax rates at 8.375 percent while across the bridge the city sales tax in Superior is 5.5 percent. In Duluth, it takes five days to mail your across-the-street neighbor an invitation. And Duluth's multimillion-dollar international airport terminal hosts just two airlines.
The city should tend to business rather than count on taxpayers to yearly bail out its failed ventures, such as a ski hill, golf courses, aquarium, historic theater renovation, ship, zoo, and more. And now the Duluth City Council wants every small-business person to provide sick and safe time.
For many years our youth graduated and moved, and Duluth's population dwindled from about 106,000 to about 86,000. Meanwhile, rents seem to be lower in the Twin Cities and job opportunities there abound.
If the city doesn't liquidate many of its failed ventures and the School Board's attitude toward competition and selling the former Central High School property for $1 million more than listing price don't change, then one may expect the 2020 census to also show a decrease in population, perhaps bringing us back even to the days when a billboard along the interstate asked the last person leaving Duluth to please turn out the lights.