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Local View: About that proposal to fix Duluth's streets: Tax-and-spend Duluth is at it again

The Duluth government does it again. Another tax has been proposed — on top of all of the others ("Duluth sales tax referendum approved," Aug. 15). This DFL-run city opens up the same outdated playbook, and it has three words: tax and spend.

Jim MattsonI'm 65 years old. When I was a boy, Duluth's population was well over 100,000. We had the steel mill, cement plant, Coolerator, Diamond Tool, and the list went on. Our population is now roughly 86,000. It has been this way for so long. Few big companies that employ hundreds care to come here. Foxconn, a multinational electronics contract manufacturing company, would be a great addition.

How many people graduate from local colleges only to up and move to larger cities with more opportunities?

Spending money unwisely is what Duluth does. The blue pedestrian bridge is a joke. Thousands of dollars have been put into it only to have it fail time and again. Doesn't that seem ridiculous when our roads are pitiful?

So, creating a new tax is the answer — once again.

Is an all-weather bike track really necessary ("Mud-free mountain biking," Aug. 14)?

Welfare checks are given to those who come here from elsewhere.

Drugs keep entering our city.

We pay fees on our utility bills and then have an increase in our rates.

A News Tribune editorial suggested there's no outrage by Duluthians over a multi-year water rate increase (Our View: "Crickets over water rate hike," Aug. 3). People give up on saying what they feel because the City Council and mayor don't listen. Outrage falls on deaf ears.

A fresh start would have been nice when Mayor Emily Larson was voted in. I just don't see it. I guess dusting off the playbook and re-reading the chapter on taxing and spending will be our future. Does anyone else feel the same way I do?

Jim Mattson of Duluth ran for mayor in 2015. He works in supply and inventory for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.


Duluth voters will be asked via their ballots on Election Day, Nov. 7, whether they support a new half-percent sales tax in the city to raise about $7 million a year to fix streets. The tax wouldn’t be applied to the purchases of necessities like food or clothing. The money raised would be required by law to be used solely for road repairs. With voter approval, the Minnesota Legislature would need to authorize creation of the new tax.