Mr. Gitz correctly states in this article that the high real estate tax rate in Freeport discourages economic growth. Unfortunately, he just blames other taxing districts for the high tax rate stating that the City’s portion is relatively small which is correct. Mr. Gitz fails to state that the City of Freeport taxes everything else. If you go out to eat – special food tax. If you buy gas – special tax. If you sell your home – special tax ($4.00 per thousand of the sale price). Cable TV Taxes, telephone tax, electric tax – you name it Freeport taxes it. Look at your residential water bill – each month $10.00 capital improvement fee and $4.00 storm water fee – another $168.00 per year. If you are a small business look at your water bill – each month $10.00 capital improvement fee and $20.00 storm water fee – another $360.00 per year. Call them what you will, but to most of us they are just taxes! When looking at the tax burden – you must look at the overall picture. The City of Freeport is just as bad as the school district. In some ways worse since city bureaucrats pretend that they are fiscally responsible, but that is far from the truth. The present City Council does not know what “fiscal reponsibility” means.
To Mr. Gitz’s credit he does recognize there is a problem which is refreshing compared to his predecessor. But really Mr. Gitz – The City of Freeport shares the blame equally as far as contributing to the area’s economic situation.