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Taxes and Tax increases

7/2/2013

“Read my lips, no new taxes!” Where have I heard that before? Were there new taxes? How about old taxes being increased?

Obviously no one likes taxes. I also find it hard to believe anyone likes big, wasteful government. So why even bring this up?

Today I read an email sent from one of the candidates, it read, “The challengers, by and large, are against any tax increases (past, present and future)”. It has become a montra among some just like the Bush quote. I too hate taxes. My taxes will be going up like everyone else. I did not expect this to occur nor did I plan for it, but I have to deal with it like everyone else. It takes money from the table and hurts my family too.

We have also heard in the past how our state taxes have been decreased, yet do you personally pay more or less in taxes? Rhetoric is easy, action is hard.

So can anyone promise no tax increases, ever?

I don't think so. I think that this promise is politic posturing and pandoring. One thing I do know is that cities can get into a downward spiral. We need to save money, so we cut services and investments. As we do so our city becomes less attractive to business. They decide not to invest here. As a result, we collect even less taxes and the cycle continues. Soon we are in an even worse state.

So how do we keep that from happening?

Promising no tax increases is not the way. The issue to me isn’t so much with the taxes (believe me, I don't like them) as much as how it is spent and can I trust those that imposed the tax to be creditable as to its need.

Do we REALLY need it? I can’t say. I know budgets make it look like we do, but are those budgets reasonable? I would hope so. Further investigation is required to know that. This is something I am trying to do. I do know that there are shortfalls and that something needs to be done. Would it be better to grow our city’s economy, yes. Is this tax needed at this time, I don’t know.

This kind of talk seems to go along with such advice as being asked to “Slow the flow” yet some cities continue to use poor practices with their water usage which not only uses our water, but costs additional money. We’ve all seen it, does this particular tax follow that thinking? I would pledge to see that it doesn’t.

Should we have sound fiscal policy? Definately. Should we be wise with the taxes and funds collected? Without question. Will there never be any future tax increase. I couldn’t say. I would hope not, but I couldn’t say. To categorically say there won’t be any, ever, in my mind is political posturing. What if the city could not meet its debt for some reason? Should we let the city go bankrupt and not have any police/fire protection or cause our costs to increase? What about natural disasters? How would that be handled after the bill arrives?

I cannot say categorically that there NEVER will be any tax increases. I would fight them, but I can't say that they would NEVER happen. It just isn’t reasonable. How can others?