To the editor:
As a mother of two young children, I am familiar with the birthday cake distribution practice. It is universal to give the littlest ones their cake before the kindergarteners and so forth. And if there’s still cake, the adults get some.
Our good nature is to care for the most vulnerable among us and ensure they get their fair share of the cake.
As the City of DeKalb proposes an 8.04% decrease in the property tax rate, I can’t help but wonder how this excellent news would be as beneficial to the most vulnerable residents of our city, the renters, as it is to the homeowners?
In theory, because renters pay their property tax in their rent, they should see a decrease in rent when the city adopts a lower property tax rate. What is the possibility that this theory will become a reality? Zero.
The proposed decrease in property tax reflects the city’s growing wealth, and I applaud the city government for their hard-earned success. While we celebrate this good news, we forget our birthday cake distribution practice. How do we ensure that the most vulnerable among us receive their fair share of the cut?
The city government has the authority to ensure that the property tax cut trickles down to renters. It is the role of the city government to put our collective resources and wealth to secure the wellbeing of all residents, not just the rich and powerful landlords.
It’s a common practice for landlords to increase rent annually to reflect inflation and increase profit. Most families will pay the increased rent without protesting because of the hassle of packing up your life in boxes and moving every year, especially if you have a family with children.
I am writing to urge the city council to act. I challenge them to negotiate for rent stabilization (put a cap on the rate of rent increase) when proposing a decrease in property tax.
I can’t enjoy my piece of cake knowing another mom with children in some apartment in DeKalb can’t have her fair share. Can you?
Linh Nguyen, Ph.D.
Candidate for the DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder