A friend emailed me a link to this bit of back patting from David Ross of Duluth’s Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Ross is in a defensive crouch because he has not condemned a tax increase from Governor Dayton and some of his members are not happy about this. Ross points to his opposition to a great many local tax increase proposals. My friend notes that despite all this swaggering the Chamber’s CEO doesn’t make a peep about the biggest local tax increase of them all – the nearly 12% tax increase by the Duluth School Board. She wonders why Mr. Ross is so silent about this.
Maybe its because commenting on it might remind people how shamelessly and vigorously he supported the Red Plan that has had such disastrous consequences for our local public schools.
In late 2012, Mayor Ness and his leadership team announced they planned to raise Duluth’s property taxes by 2.9 percent in 2013. The Chamber was the one organization that publicly opposed the tax increase. We publicly challenged the Mayor to reduce the tax increase. Many of our members appreciated the Chamber’s advocacy.
The Chamber was applauded.
Similarly, one month ago, the City of Duluth announced it intended to raise the City’s Comfort Systems rate for natural gas by 5 percent. Again, the Chamber was the one organization that publicly opposed the rate increase. We publicly challenged the Duluth Public Utilities Commission to delay any rate increase until more citizen feedback could be provided. Many of our members appreciated the Chamber’s advocacy.
The Chamber was congratulated.
Likewise, a few weeks ago, the Duluth City Council was poised to pass into law the City’s new and more restrictive sign ordinance. Once more, the Chamber was the one organization that publicly challenged the City to delay implementing the ordinance until more business community input could be provided. The City agreed to delay implementing the ordinance. Many of our members appreciated the Chamber’s advocacy. The Chamber was affirmed.