No representation without taxation! | VailDaily.com

No representation without taxation!

Dan Smith

It may be a quick turn of an old phrase, but just maybe it has meaning today. As every school child learns, “No Taxation without representation!” was one of the cries that sparked the American Revolution. The colonists were understandably upset because they were taxed by a parliament in England in which they had no direct representation. They felt at the time that the two, taxation and representation, should go together. Well, if it sounded right for George, Thomas and Ben, who’s to say it isn’t right for Avon?In a Town Council meeting regarding a certain well-known flagpole, about two-thirds of those present and about three-quarters of the speakers were not residents, property owners, taxpayers or citizens of the town of Avon, but rather residents of nearby unincorporated areas. Clearly, the flagpole under discussion is visible from outside of Avon and obviously it was of some concern to the people present. However, these 30 or so people claimed to represent all of the people in their areas. While that claim may or may not be true, what is true is that these people were violating the linkage between taxation and representation. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, where they can express that opinion is another matter. In this case, people who don’t live in Avon are asking for representation before the Avon Town Council without bothering with the formality of accepting taxation. This simply isn’t right and clearly goes against all our forefathers stood for at Lexington, Concord, Valley Forge, Bunker Hill and a whole slew of other places, many of which also involved large flags.Maybe the following concept is worthy of discussion: When someone wants to criticize a government to which they do not pay taxes, he or she should voluntarily agree to be taxed by that government for a period of one year. This could be done as simply as presenting every non-resident, uninvited speaker at, for example, a town council meeting, with a tax bill as they take the podium. It could also be done by annexation of the areas that to judge by the strident tone of those present, desperately want to be represented.Either concept would serve two purposes. First, they would provide a handy source of revenue to the towns like Avon whose elected leaders are currently being forced to suffer through the diatribe offered by folks who can’t legally vote for them. Second, it might cause those self same folks to think just a bit before they shoot off their mouths in someone else’s town.Those of us who live in Avon have already paid for the privilege of whining to our elected officials every time something doesn’t go our way. Similarly, our elected officials have a vested interest in putting up with our whining since we can vote them into or out of office. If folks from outside of Avon want to whine to our Town Council, they damn well need to pay for the privilege – we already have! If they want to play, they ought to pay.