The Nacilbupera Guzzle

Whoever examines with attention the history of the dearths and famines … will find, I believe, that a dearth never has arisen from any combination among the inland dealers in corn, nor from any other cause but a real scarcity, occasioned sometimes perhaps, and in some particular places, by the waste of war, but in by far the greatest number of cases by the fault of the seasons; and that a famine has never arisen from any other cause but the violence of government attempting, by improper means, to remedy the inconveniences of a dearth. (Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations IV.5.44)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Help On The Way In Curbing Future Utah Tax Increases, But Too Late To Stop Provo's Prop 1

Last week in Provo a small group of citizens quietly raised everyone's property taxes for the next 20 years for the purpose of a recreation center or Prop 1 which passed 60%-40%. In a more telling perspective, fewer than 9,000 voters turned out to vote in favor of raising taxes on the remaining 51,000 registered voters. In percentage terms, less than 15% of registered Provo voters were able to vote tax increases on 100% of the property owners in the city. Is this really a fair way to approve tax increases?

Those in favor of Prop 1 were organized and had political mailings, a website, endorsements, and yard signs; those wanting to keep their own money were clearly not organized. We must remedy this as voters and hold accountable officials who publicly signed their names as citizens supporting unnecessary tax increases. We must be ready to organize better to stop future attempts from our city council and to be ready to change city council members.

But for those of us feeling that something more than a simple 50% majority should be required to approve tax increases (which coincidentally includes many people who did favor Prop 1), help is on the way in the form of a proposed Constitutional Amendment. Rep. Carl Wimmer (R-Herriman) announced a proposed Constitutional amendment to "require that any tax or fee increase on the state, city or county level would require two thirds majority vote in order to pass." (ABC4)

The proposed amendment will need to pass a 2/3rds vote through the legislature next year and then require voter approval as amendments A, B, C, and D did this past election.

This is a much-needed amendment, case in point: had this amendment been in place, Prop 1 would have fallen considerably short of the votes it needed and I wouldn't be forced to choke up $80 a year for the next 20 years. Provoans could have then sought a more fiscally responsible way to pay for their want. Those who wanted a rec center could have donated the money they used to fund their taxation efforts into a voluntary citizen donation fund to accrue money over time towards a day when we could build a rec center without raising taxes or forcing citizens to pay for services they do not need or want.

2 comments:

Christopher - Conservative Perspective said...

God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

nacilbupera said...

Thank Christopher! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!