Richard Carnes
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November 11, 2013
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Vail Daily column: The hypocrisy of the anti-taxers

“No more taxes! No more taxes!”

What about pot?

“Um …”

You shout and scream “no more taxes,” but your voting appeared to be okey-dokey with huge new taxes for marijuana.

“Oh, well, those kind of taxes are OK!”

Those kind? What’s that mean?

“I wanted pot to be treated the same as booze. I don’t smoke it, but I say tax the snot out of it and use the taxes for something good!”

Define “good.” Do you mean the 15 percent state excise tax that the state will dedicate the first $40 million for public school construction?

“Sure. Of course that’s what I mean.”

What about the other 10 percent state sales tax added on top of the existing 2.9 percent state sales tax?

“What about it?”

Local towns and Eagle County will get that, so aren’t you concerned about how they will spend it, or do you suddenly trust local governments to be “good,” as you call it, with new tax money?

“Now you’re just making it sound like I’m a hypocrite.”

When it comes to taxes, you are. Two out of three of you voted against one tax, but then two out of three of you voted for another tax. Was it the same two out of three? You “no more tax” people just confuse me, that’s all. Even down in Gypsum they voted, for the second year in a row, against a mill levy increase by the fire district.

“Meaning?”

Meaning I suppose people will vote against something they don’t think they will ever need. That is, until they need it.

“You sound like a liberal tax lover, and you probably hug trees and drive an electric car too.”

Not in the least, and what’s the point of hugging a tree and I’ll drive whatever I want. I’m just perplexed by our confusing consortium of conflicted citizenry. I don’t enjoy paying taxes any more than any of my neighbors, but look at Red Cliff. They were more than happy to increase taxes for pot but said a big ol’ “nope” when it came to keeping the street lights on or the streets plowed during the winter.

“It’s their right, isn’t it?”

Sure, and they have a right to drive through unplowed streets in the dark, too, and in Gypsum they have a right to yell and scream while their house burns down before a fire truck can make it there, but having a right doesn’t make it right.

“I guess you’re right.”

Thank you for noticing.

Look, Red Cliff will make something work one way or the other, but it’s going to be tough. The Gypsum Fire Protection District will have to make more cuts and just simply have to increase their efficiency even more, and hopefully nothing tragic happens in the meantime. And as Superintendent Glass said about Eagle County Schools, the failure of 66 doesn’t mean additional budget cuts, it will just take longer and be more difficult to get back to pre-recession funding levels. But hey, look at the bright side, if we can get enough folks to start buying pot on a regular basis, at least we’ll be able to build more school buildings.

“But how will we pay for the staff?”

Good point.

Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at poor@vail.net.


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The VailDaily Updated Nov 11, 2013 09:23PM Published Nov 11, 2013 12:54PM Copyright 2013 The VailDaily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.