The purpose of government is to keep order, protect private property and provide access to services across the whole of a county or city like education, transport, planning, fire and public safety, social care, libraries, waste management and trading standards.
Government representatives propose many wonderful options for “new stuff” to their constituents in the form of increased taxes. Of course, who would not want a child to be educated, not have lunch, not to have a Water Park for tourism, not have an Osage Community Centre for events, not have a new Federal Building, courthouse, police / fire station, school, golf course, doggie park, bike trail, public transportation, Phase I & Phase II (911) to track phone locations of citizens, cameras on stoplights or a garden at the entrance to Cape Girardeau exit, etc?
These may be noble causes / projects and no one wants their town to be unattractive or underserved. Most of the items listed above involve the expense of building, employees, utilities, insurance, maintenance, payroll, health insurance, possible retirements — all expensed to the taxpayer.
Cape Girardeau and Jackson’s populations have increased which increases tax revenues on many levels annually. Tax revenues generated by retail sales, restaurant receipts, personal property, home purchases / sales, income tax, utilities, gasoline, food, cell phone, water, and sewer have continued to grow to support Cape Girardeau county’s cities.
Thomas Jefferson stated, “Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.”
The contra side to the issue is, what is the necessary functions the taxpayer to support? Should we build a golf course, doggie park, a Federal Building, new school? Should we create more government programs, Common Core, Kids First, Head Start, NPR, Planned Parenthood, NSA, Homeland Security? Or should we pave our roads, be prepared with salt for our roads for citizens during inclement weather, update the fire house or build a new police station/jail to protect our communities and create a business environments for more jobs?
Is it really necessary to create a CID board to decide what the restaurant tax revenues should be appropriated? Or should these funds be appropriated to fund a new / refurbished fire house or new police station / jail? Today, Cape Girardeau taxes provide police, trash hauling etc. for the downtown area. Why are additional funds required for the same services?
The Casino brings in $2 Million dollars a year. Cape Girardeau has one of the highest sales taxes in Missouri. Shouldn’t these dollars be appropriated to fund some of the impending projects instead of raising taxes? Could we pre-plan projects with existing tax surpluses / projected taxes in the next fiscal year? Could some of the services now being provided by the City / County be provided by a contract employer reducing costs of benefits and retirements payable by taxpayer dollars? Instead of being satisfied the citizens supported and paid for a project the Cape administration proposed to expend their tax dollars, the administration gets frantic when the tax is set to sunset.
Thomas Jefferson stated, “To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt … I am for a government rigorously frugal and simple.”
Normally when projects have been proposed for a tax increase, the entire project expense is presented for the taxpayer to approve by their vote. The dedicated tax revenue, when voter approved, is attached to purchases or levied against the taxpayers’ property. The City and County may receive funding from other state or federal sources and/or grants in addition to the taxes to support some of these projects. These additional dollars, if sourced, could lighten the local taxpayers’ project tax burden. The surplus dollars could be used in the next fiscal year in lieu of government pursuing another tax increase.
If I were to conduct a family poll at home and ask who wants to eat out, who wants a new cell phone, who wants more video games, should we get HBO channels, do you want a new car? Everyone would raise their hands. Then if I asked them are you willing not to have air conditioning this summer or heat in this winter, take fewer showers, cut the clothing/shoe budget in order to pay for these wants, the attitude is much different and choices of wants verses needs brings reality to the table. To live within your budget necessitates making the difficult choices and the prioritization of dollars.
This is what we are asking our leaders. Make the tough and wise choices. We want Cape Girardeau Missouri debt free. We want local government to create an environment for businesses to provide good paying jobs. We want government to work toward bringing people on subsidies to zero. We want equitable agreements between local government and businesses who receive reduced taxation benefits to have the stipulation that the tax benefit be repaid to the city / county if they leave before 15 years. This employment effort will provide the revenue needed to fund the necessities and amenities for Cape Girardeau, Missouri through many sources of tax revenues received from citizens work, investments and purchases.
To Alter Or To Abolish,Chapter 34
Written by Darrell Anderson.
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It only can exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.
Often attributed to Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler
President Gerald Ford stated “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.”