A Tax Hike By Any Other Name

Gilbert, Arizona [Photo from the City of Gilbert]

Gilbert residents’ tax bill will be higher this year than it was last year. The Gilbert Town Council made sure of that in their May 5th meeting with a vote of 5-2 in favor (thank you, Councilmembers Yentes and Taylor, for voting against it).

Proponents of the tax increase will continue to work hard to convince us that the secondary levy isn’t actually a tax increase. They’ll alter the definitions of words to mask reality. They claim that because the “rate stayed the same,” their actions don’t actually constitute a tax increase. The Council’s vote didn’t change the tax rate.

But your taxes will still go up.

We all know taxes are complicated, which makes it easy to disguise tax increases with incomplete explanations. The Council voted on the levy amount, which is the total that Gilbert residents must pay in property taxes. The rate you’ll pay this year hasn’t increased since last year, but Gilbert’s average home values have. So, your tax bill will be higher than last year, and unless you sold your home, you don’t necessarily have more money with which you can pay those taxes.

Councilmembers Aimee Yentes and Jared Taylor voted against the tax hike. They were looking out for you, your family, and your neighbors and friends who can’t afford an increase in taxes.
Small businesses and large corporations alike are still reeling from the tragic effects of COVID-19. They’re furloughing your neighbors and laying off your family members. It’s in the depths of this extremely difficult situation that five members of Gilbert’s Town Council decided the timing was right to increase taxes on all of us. This is a dangerous course in the face of a recession or depression.

Taxes are not a partisan issue. Because all property owners are affected by the secondary tax levy, they affect us all. It doesn’t matter which party you affiliate with, or if you affiliate with none at all. Gilbert needs conscientious people to represent their interests on the Town Council—especially during a crisis.

One of my opponents in this race has voted for multiple tax increases just like this. She also voted for higher spending in the face of serious economic challenges. If we continue this course, we’ll have no end to big government in Gilbert. I’m running for Mayor of Gilbert to bring back fiscal responsibility. Our Town should be a reflection of the good citizens in our community.

Matt Nielsen is a resident of Gilbert, and candidate for Mayor. He has lived in Gilbert for six years and is the proud father of four children. To learn more about Matt, please visit www.VoteMattNielsen.com