Not the proper time for taxing people
By Joseph Parish
It wasnít that long ago during the election process that many of our politicians flat out declared that they had no intentions of increasing taxes or of causing additional undo expense on the already overburdened taxpayer. These are the same politicians ranging from the highest seat in our government to those at the city and country level that are having an about face at this time.
What happened here gentlemen? All those campaign promises seemed to go right out the door. Is there any politician that is honest? I have a friend named Howard to who I had causally mention one day that I was perhaps considering running for a public office. Howard quickly laughed and remarked that regardless of how honest a person is when they enter the political arena they rapidly regress to the status of less then an honest politicians in the long run.
Unfortunately, I am included at this time to agree with Howard in this respect. If only our politicians could have a Pinocchio nose that would grow when they told their lies we would have a lot more honest political figures in office.
The current problem is not so much that they are about to raise taxes but more so that they are doing this at the most inopportune time. We currently are experiencing a higher then normal unemployment rate. Many of our local business people are feeling the punch so badly that they are laying many of their loyal workers off. In a nutshell, this is not the best time to raise taxes.
The normal person who is being hurt the most by these tax increases are the same people that are losing their jobs. Is it not difficult enough for them to make their mortgage payments when they become unemployed without having the added increased tax rates to contend with as well?
A topical example of what I am referring to here is the federal tax increase on cigarettes. I do not smoke so what I am, about to say is not a result of sour grapes. Obama promised the low wage earners that he would in no way hurt them by raising taxes.
ďOh my God Mr. Obama what did you just do?Ē Letís face facts here. The low income people are the ones which are generally the smokers. Statistically you will find more workers earning close to minimum wage then you would those executives who are getting fat with huge unbelievable bonuses. Therefore Mr. Obama has once more lied to his people.
Even at the low end of the totem pole at the city level we see similar results. Princess Anne Maryland residences are about to see increased property taxes as well. Even during these times of elevated unemployment the city commissioners managed to squeeze a 10 cent increase into the legislation. These hard working people will shortly start paying greater property taxes then they had previously. The ten cent raise may not seem like much but together with the previous tax rate is now comes to 95 cents for every $100 of evaluation. As an example, suppose that a persons home is valued at $300,000 and he is currently paying his taxes at the .85 cent rate. His tax liability will be $2550 dollars. Now after the city commission raises the rate by ten cents his liability on this home then becomes $2850. This amounts to an increase of $300 dollars per year. It may not be much but if you are not working it could be the difference in having a home to live in or being out on the street.
Cities are becoming so desperate for these additional funds that the people who put these politicians in office now mean very little to them. Princess Anne claims that the mere increase of 10 cents will boast there revenue by $164,000. Donít think for a moment that I am picking on Princess Anne as it is happen all over the nation.
The problem is not so much that we need a tax increase as much as we need to reduce our expenses. When in the course of our daily lives we find that we are spending more then what we earn as a responsible person it is our duty to reduce our expenditures to compensate for this. I propose that the cities do likewise.
Let the people who use services pay for them. It is time to eliminate the free rides for many of the cities functions. We pay for trash removal why not also be paying for that library card? If a person uses the library then they should be charged accordingly. If they use the boys or girls clubs then charge them appropriately. Stop the government funding of activities that are intended for a few of the citizens only. Make our cities a pay as you go program. Stop the waste associated with running our infrastructure. My own city had Xmas lights out and lit every evening for several months after the holiday season had ended. What a waste. It must not of occurred to them that if they were simply too lazy to remove the lights at least turn them off.
There is much that can be accomplished towards reducing the expenses associated with running a city but it takes the desire to do so. If this was years ago and our economy was good I would say go for the tax increase however, in view of Americas economic downturn increasing taxes is not the proper way to go at this time.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish
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