Gilbert residents, like all Americans, have gone above and beyond the directives issued by our federal and state governments. All of us are well aware, given the fact that a significant portion of America’s economy has largely been shut down for several weeks now, that a “return to normalcy” isn’t likely to happen immediately.
Just as residents begin to consider the possibility of taking the first steps back into their everyday lives, the majority of Gilbert’s Town Councilmembers voted to increase our taxes.
Tens of millions of Americans are jobless and we’re facing some of the highest unemployment numbers since the Great Depression. Many of those unemployed are our friends, family, and neighbors. I don’t know if there ever was a worse time to increase taxes, and yet here we are.
During yesterday’s Gilbert Town Council meeting, Councilman Jared Taylor noted succinctly, “Now is not the time to raise taxes on people. We have a lot of people that are already struggling…and to tell them that we’re going to raise their taxes for something that was not fiscally responsible is completely inappropriate. What we should be doing…is cutting taxes.” Councilmembers Jared Taylor and Aimee Yentes are the only two who voted against the tax hike.
Citizens expect more compassion and common sense from their elected officials than what was demonstrated by the majority of our councilmembers yesterday. All of us know many people who are out of work. The last thing they need right now is to pay more in taxes. In my experience as a Gilbert resident, our town is often looked to as an example of good government and sound judgment. In this case, however, local elected officials across the state would be well advised to do the opposite of Gilbert—and prioritize the needs of the citizens before the wants of the government.