First the story: Bowman County commissioners are asking residents for a 12% increase in taxes. Inflation is coming, but for the past year or so, and projecting into the next or so, the Fed says there has been no inflation, and the Fed does not see inflation as being a problem in the near term going forward.
So, Bowman County residents are right to ask, 12%? Why?
The spotty answer in the linked article:
Commissioner Lynn Brackel said the county's hands are tied on several "mandated" increases and singled out rising costs for social services for residents, and retirement and health insurance tabs for county employees.Note what was not included in the reason for the request for an increase in taxes: a) impact of the economic activity (i.e., oil); b) routine county responsibilities such as roads, snow removal, emergency services; and, c) inflation.
The answer: "mandates." Our hands are tied.
Note: based on the article, it sounds like this 12% increase does not include the increases the school district is expected to request.
My hunch is these "mandated" increases are trickle-down mandates from the Federal government. The Federal government has a habit of extending well-meaning programs and kick-starting them with Federal money for the first two or three years, but after that, local government is responsible. And so there "we" are --
We've been reading about these problems in other states. They are now coming home to roost, to steal a phrase.
It would be interesting to see the breakdown of the "mandated" programs. Before the November election.