To the editor:

To the editor:

Dramatic tax increases should be based on economic need, not political expediency.

The city council has decided to increase the city taxes of one-third of its residents by 60 percent, which roughly translates to a 20-percent jump in city taxes -- over and above the increase that naturally occurs when salaries go up.

The current budget for 2009 shows a 5.8-percent increase in expenditures. To date, I have not seen one specific justification for this 20-percent increase in tax revenues.

My request is simple. Without vague generalities, without political platitudes, please specify how Westerville's costs and services will increase by 20 percent. If that can be done clearly and in some detail, then the citizens of Westerville should support the current proposal. If not, we should respectfully turn down this proposal and await a more careful assessment of our economic needs.

We don't need talking points and we don't need political divisiveness. In order to have citizen support for this unprecedented tax increase, we need economic justification and clear communication about the increased costs and services for the city of Westerville.

Robert Kraft