Source <VR 2018/19/20/21/22>

Question < Weaken the Argument >

With options

Confusion < How to solve this question?>

Solution

Urban planner: When a city loses population due to migration, property taxes in that city tend to rise. This is because there are then fewer residents paying to maintain an infrastructure that was designed to support more people. Rising property taxes, in turn, drive more residents away, compounding the problem. Since the city of Stonebridge is starting to lose population, the city government should therefore refrain from raising property taxes.

Which of the following, if true, would most weaken the urban planner's argument?

Conclusion: The city government of Stonebridge should refrain from raising property taxes.

Question Type: Weaken the argument

Task at hand: Find an option that shows that the city government of Stonebridge probably should raise property taxes.

Let’s look at each option:

(A) If Stonebridge does not raise taxes on its residents to maintain its infrastructure, the city will become much less attractive to live in as that infrastructure decays. This option tells us that if the tax is not increased, the infrastructure will decay and the city will be less attractive to live in. This, in turn, could actually encourage more people to move out, which is what the main problem is, i.e., the city is losing population due to migration. In other words, this shows that the city government of Stonebridge probably should raise property taxes.

(B) Stonebridge at present benefits from grants provided by the national government to help maintain certain parts of its infrastructure. The city is getting funds from elsewhere. In this case,  the city government of Stonebridge does not need to raise property taxes.

(C) If there is a small increase in property taxes in Stonebridge and a slightly larger proportion of total revenue than at present is allocated to infrastructure maintenance, the funding will be adequate for that purpose. This may be true but this doesn’t show that the city government of Stonebridge probably should raise property taxes.

(D) Demographers project that the population of a region that includes Stonebridge will start to increase substantially within the next several years. If the population is going to increase then there is no need for the city government of Stonebridge to raise property taxes.

(E) The property taxes in Stonebridge are significantly lower than those in many larger cities. This may be true, but the fact that the taxes are lower when compared to other cities doesn’t mean that the tax needs to be increased.

Option A is the only option that weakens the conclusion of this argument