Your excellent coverage (“Low Taxes, No Oversight,” 9/20) of how tax breaks steal money from local services and programs illustrates perfectly why local governments should have independent auditors to do the work necessary to protect public dollars from rip-off artists.
One of two local governments in Oregon that has an independent auditor, Multnomah County, found problems and then sued to recoup its losses. What a radical concept!
Local governments always cry poor, yet they keep giving these breaks to companies that don’t need them, minus oversight. Lane County can’t keep an auditor (why?), and Eugene’s city council just killed another valiant attempt to protect our interests.
Without independent watchdogs that work for citizens, we will just keep being ripped off. Obviously, we can’t rely on any elected officials to care, as they keep giving tax breaks and development deals to every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes along with their hand out.
Recent examples include: the 5th Street Market expansion (no homeless allowed), the Crapstone Apartments debacle, the UO Riverfront giveaway, the EWEB property market-rate build-up — it goes on and on.
Any way you read it, we taxpayers are gonna pay for it.