by Travis Mateer
The post I was working on this morning isn’t happening (can’t upload a video right now), so instead I’ll just mention a survey of Missoula residents regarding quality of life issues.
Here’s how this survey is informing County purse-string pullers like Dale Bickell, who now thinks Missoula residents are excited to pay more taxes for affordable housing projects (emphasis mine):
Support for tax increases to fund improvements to services varied.
“We’ve heard a lot about property tax reform and we’ve been advocating for it a lot,” said Dale Bickell. “But it’s also how willing are you to support the services we provide for us to be able to continue to maintain or increase our level of service.”
The survey found varying support for tax increases across all categories, though fire services, mental health and housing affordability scored highest with moderate support. Tax increases to support planning for growth, traffic management, permitting and municipal court scored the lowest.
“Clearly housing affordability is a top issue of our residents. They’re actually willing to help support housing affordability by paying for it,” said city CAO Dale Bickell. “If we can come up with programs to support that, I think our residents would tend to support that.”
Not surprisingly, there is a correlation between thinking shit is cool in Missoula and how much money you have, as denoted by the neighborhood you live in:
The survey touched on other factors as well, including quality of life. The number of respondents who described it as “excellent” fell by 2% and those who said it was “good” fell by 3%. The number of respondents who said it was “fair,” “below average” and “poor” all increased slightly.
But views on quality of life varied by ward, with Ward 3 (University District) scoring the highest at 81% and Ward 6 (Reserve Street area) scoring the lowest at 70%.
Yes, if you’re living near the University, life is peachy, but if you’re closer to economic sacrifice zones like the area around the homeless camps around the Reserve Street bridge, not so much.
It’s funny our illuminated braintrust require surveys to tell them stuff like this. Less funny is the assumption that to fix problems, our government just needs more of our tax money.
Tomorrow I’ll have a proper post. Maybe even a video.
So stay tuned…