Why all tax increases will fail
Everywhere I go lately I keep being asked the same question: “Will you please move your behind out of my way?” But even after I politely move, they still have the repetitive audacity to ask, “Do you really think all of the tax requests will fail on Nov. 7?”Well yes, I do, but keep in mind it’s only my opinion. What Dick thinks on any issue should be irrelevant to Happy Valley, at least up to the point where you have done your own research and come to your own conclusions. For only then will you have the perceived knowledge to agree or disagree and, I might add, that is hopefully regardless of what the editorial staff at the Vail Daily might be currently preaching.But yep, I still think each will fail, with one setting a new record for percentage of “no” votes.I’ll let you guess which one, but whether you call it the babysitting, nanny, preschool or Arn’s child-development tax, 1A will fail simply because so many seem to be against raising taxes in order for irresponsible government to attempt doing what responsible parents should already be doing. Besides, the language is too vague and too open-ended for possible misinterpretations, followed by the inevitable misappropriations. It was interesting the other day when I overheard a Denver TV station political ad for 1A. My first inclination was, “Wow, those folks are really organized. That must be costing a fortune!” Then I discovered it was for a Denver-only sales tax initiative to raise $12 million annually to “help provide quality preschool for Denver’s 4-year-olds.”Whew. Coincidence? I certainly don’t think so, but it won’t help Eagle County’s version pass either way. Parents should fight to raise their kids, not taxes.The school bond proponents are running so scared at the last minute that they have resorted to pulling out the Karl Rove Apocalyptic Playbook of Latent Anxieties (KRAPOLA).Using tired Bush-styled scare tactics to terrorize voters into thinking they are “either for kids or against ’em,” it will only result with the same predictable outcome. You can’t scare people into thinking your way (the Catholic Church has spent hundreds of years continually proving the fallacy of that theory) without at least having some suspicion as to the potential backlash.They are simply asking for too much at one time. In fact, they are asking for more than double what they have ever asked for in the past. It is hyperbolic overkill, far reaching hype, excessively exaggerated expectations, and like a husband having a vasectomy the same day his wife has a hysterectomy.As I say: overkill.The one item on the list where I do agree with the editor is the library district’s requests (5A and 5B). The lack of a “need” as opposed to a “want” summed it up perfectly. Timing is everything, and their watches are out of synch.The potential Home Rule Charter (1B), although not an official tax increase, will of course increase taxes proportionately in order to pay for the new commissioners and all of their associated costs.My personal jury was still out on this one just a week ago, but O.J. unfortunately proved the validity of supposedly unbiased committees, and the more I read the less I am convinced of any true overall benefits from home rule. If there is not enough positive reason for change, then why make the change?There is no statewide trend anywhere I can find to do so, and make-believing political parties will have no future bearing is like poo-pooing evolution in spite of fossils. Status quo works just fine most of the time, and spending money for 5, 7, 9, or even 11 commissioners would only convolute potential problem issues exponentially so.And lastly, giving Basalt a perceived vote is certainly not enough reason.The most insulting part of this whole mess is the folks who continue to spout that one initiative or the other is “the right thing to do” or “will only cost a six-pack-a-week” or the even worse, “It’s for the children.”Most people are already busting their behinds to make that $2,000 or $3,000 mortgage payment, and adding a few extra hundred bucks each year to keep up with taxing requests totals up to an extra $1,000 or so after only two or three elections. When will we ever learn that more taxes will never be the answer to the questions that plague a democracy?However, as a side note, I was certain that the town of Avon had more chance of winning a battle with Union Pacific than Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie co-starring together in a hi-jinks filled frolic about fidelity. I was happy to be wrong about that one (and proud of town leaders), but don’t expect lightning to strike a second time.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Vail, Colorado
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