I am writing to encourage Portland city councilors to avoid increasing property taxes, yet again, to fund the city’s budget.

I’ve been a property owner for 16 years. Education is important; however, every year, my taxes have gone up.

I have investment property in Portland that includes seven apartments I rent out, and I try not to increase the rent until the apartment turns over to new tenants when a lease ends.

However, between the increasing property taxes, the fees being charged to landlords to fund the Housing Safety Office, the cost of mandatory upgrades imposed on my properties after that office’s inspections, new stormwater fees and maintenance costs for the properties, I have had to increase my rents once again. Finding alternative ways to fund at least part of the budget would help keep the cost of rents down in Portland, and take pressure off homeowners.

The easiest way to fund education is through property taxes. The path of least resistance, though, has additional consequences to the city that are not always obvious. High taxes and high rents are the top reasons people give for moving out of Portland. Councilors have a chance to affect both in a positive way by finding alternative solutions. The city of Portland seems to have a very high number of administrators with six-figure salaries; maybe cutting some overhead would be a good place to start.

Some of the councilors who will vote on this issue are not property owners in Portland, but I hope that will not preclude those councilors from assisting property owners.

Joanne Huntington