American statesman Benjamin Franklin once said: "in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes".
He was talking about the newly signed American constitution, but this saying has reverberated through the centuries.
Death and taxes are not the only certainties in our lives, however. So is sitting in traffic in the morning and evening commutes.
With successive councillors being elected to various councils and committees, on the well-worn promise of keeping rates rises low or zero, core council responsibilities have, in my view, been neglected.
The low rates promise is attractive to Baby Boomers, who tend to be asset rich, but cash poor.
Boomers also tend to vote, and plenty of them live in the Bay, so it stands to reason the candidate who promises to keep their rates lowest will get the job.
But Tauranga's infrastructure is at a crisis point, traffic chokes the city, wastewater pipelines are at capacity - the city is still growing and demand on this infrastructure is increasing.
Tauranga's newly appointed commission chairwoman Anne Tolley at a meeting this week has signalled that rates need to be raised and that money has to come from somewhere - and that somewhere is from the commercial sector, she says.
Tolley told council executive staff members she had heard criticism the city's community "had borne the costs of growth unfairly".
"This is a big hit to residents and commercial is able to claim tax that an individual homeowner can't. I'd like to see it stepped up higher so it's more in line. We are still a huge way off what other metros are paying."
She said the city needed to play catch-up and address the chronic lack of investment in the city.
She is not wrong.
Tauranga is not alone with these challenges. Many councils up and down the country, including Rotorua, are facing the struggle of trying to balance the cost of running their cities with the looming costs of ageing infrastructure and the unwillingness of constituents to pay for it.
Gradual rates rises may be unpopular – I'm the first to grumble when the bill arrives in the post – but they are necessary and part of our civic duty. At times, in this highly individualistic and self-centred society, it seems we've forgotten that such a duty exists. And if previous councils had been bold enough to implement rates rises, and make tough decisions about infrastructure upgrades we may not be in this mess.
So now is the time to make the hard decisions because the status quo is no longer acceptable.