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OPINION: Schickel, Lee mis-lead voters on Renaissance Project tax impact

To the Editor,

Since it’s inception, the Renaissance Project had one core mantra. No city tax dollars would go toward the project. However, the community has already spent over one million dollars on its inception. Mayor Schickel, and John Lee both participated in a Mason City Yes campaign video promoting it. At the end of the video Bill tells us that the project would be done, “with no new property tax increase!” Fast forward to this January’s state of the city address. Bill espouses, that if the Renaissance project, “does not cash flow, taxes will rise!” John Lee expressed at a recent city council meeting that he has the formula that will tell the community how much their property taxes will rise. This obfuscation is why people get angry when elected officials display, such deception. The Renaissance Project was built on, and presented with duplicity, and prevarication from the beginning. If the myriad of people supporting RP have not been truthful concerning our tax dollars, what other falsehoods have they told us? In the last election cycle for city council some candidates promised “transparency!” However, that is not what the community has received. The arena is now officially a roll of the dice. When I asked Tom Thoma recently, if he could guarantee no tax money would go toward the arena he replied, “nothing is guaranteed!” However, he is wrong, if the arena collapses financially it is guaranteed that the community will subsidize it, and make no mistake, “taxes will rise!”

Phillip Sanchez
Mason City, Iowa

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