Three weeks ago, Lewiston schools Superintendent Jake Langlais presented next year’s $110 million school budget. This is a 10% increase over the current budget. This was met by the mayor and City Council — not with disbelief — but a standing ovation.

Last week Lewiston’s council approved this year’s mil (tax) rate, at an assessed value of $33 per thousand. This represents a $3 increase per thousand on a resident’s home.

But it did not end there. The next item on the agenda was building a homeless shelter. If passed, we will have a place for those Lewiston taxpayers that will be forced out of their homes due to the high tax rate.

During the meeting a gentleman asked why the city gives tax breaks (TIFs) to contractors putting up housing all over the city. The answer: much of this housing will be given to people who will be supported by people’s federal, state and city taxes. Perhaps a historical review of Lewiston from when it was originally incorporated to the present may give the mayor and council a little more foresight.

It’s time for the mayor and council to govern the city being guided by hard fiscal numbers, not some magical wish list.

Bob Macdonald, Lewiston

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