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Taxpayer rip off

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Pequot Lakes taxpayers are getting ripped off

In June 2002, Sibley Township requested to be annexed into the city of Pequot Lakes. The Pequot council at that time (why, total mental meltdown) granted Sibley a 50 percent city tax reduction based on their old township rates until they connected to city water and sewer.

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I wasn’t aware of this until May this year, but 90 percent of all taxpayers still aren’t.

At the June 3 council meeting I complained something had to be done to correct this and make it right and equal for all taxpayers of Pequot. The council agreed that “the matter deserves further inquiry.”

Nothing happened.

I again attended the Sept. 4 council meeting after picking up some paperwork at the county auditors office and again addressed the council to justify Sibley’s right of paying 50 percent less city tax than Pequot taxpayers.

An existing Sibley home with an average market value of $223,500 over the last 10 years paid $6,775.42 in city tax, at the 50 percent reduction.

My point: In 2002 Sibley had 575 voters with an average of two per household this is 287 taxable homesteads.

Hypothetically, 287 homesteads times $6,775.42 over 10 years would be a $1,944,545.54 loss in city tax. This I explained at the September meeting. Again, mayor said, “This is something the council plans to look at.” Nothing happened.

Comparing apples to apples, 40 percent of Pequot homes have no city water or sewer or have ever been offered.

Actual 2011 home circumstances: Home Value Tax: Pequot Lakes $204,500 — $1,382.84; Sibley $201,500 — $595.27

This has been swept under the rug for the last 10 years as all council members are from Sibley over this period of time. This is totally wrong and a slap in the face to every Pequot taxpayer.

Call city hall 568-5222.

Jack Schmidt,

Pequot Lakes

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