In this issue we provide a survey of 9 local community's tax rate history over the past 10 years that shows Bethel has had the largest tax rate increase of all 9, at 46.5%, and has the second highest tax rate. We are not drawing conclusions on why this trend has been taking place, or why it has been accelerating. We hope that drawing attention to this will provide a more informed discussion about what has been Bethel's recent tax history and what priorities need to come into better focus.
We are deeply troubled that some officials and candidates for office have focused on trying to twist or even deny simple facts rather than outline a clear vision for going forward.
That the tax rate has increased 46.5% over the past 10 years is beyond dispute. That Bethel's rate of increase is greater than our neighbors is also beyond dispute. What is needed is an understanding of why this has been the trend and how this trend can be slowed or even reversed.