Thursday, April 7, 2011

E Tax Vote Reflections

With blogging I am at "I am so far behind I will never die." However, I can't let the recent earning tax vote result go by without a comment or two. First, I was surprised that it won by the margin it did. 78% to 22% is pretty much landslide territory. It's clear that the anti tax message made no impact on those who went to the polls to vote on this issue. Why do you suppose that so many of the 73,459 who cast ballots last Tuesday voted "yes" to continue the earnings tax? Here are my guesses as to why "yes" votes were the vast majority:

1. People were afraid that major cuts would be made in essential services. This point was the topic of much of the pro E tax advertising, and it is clear that people took it to heart.
2. People were fearful also of other taxes going up--especially property tax. There was talk of property tax going up at least 50% if the E tax went away. People used to paying, say around $1000 per year had no interest in paying $1500 per year.

3. The anti tax side never made a good case for voting against what seems one's own interest. This was never going to be an easy hill for the anti tax people to climb, but they never really caught on with voters. People only saw what it would cost them personally (decline in services, higher property taxes, paying [more] for trash, etc.) not how it might benefit the city as a whole.

We get to do it all over again in five years. I hope that the pols do not take this large margin as a license to spend recklessly. This is why I was hoping that if it passed, it made the pols sweat, to know that the citizens are going to be watching them handle the citizen's money. Unfortunately I am not sure that message is going to be received by the various interests at City Hall.

We need to watch these people with their hands lingering near our pockets...and remember how they did with the money five years from now.


Bob G. said...

And ALWAYS watch BOTH hands...!

very good post. Stay safe out there.

The Observer said...

Bob G:
Thanks for coming by.

Our times, they are too interesting. Federal government shut down looks likely as pols fuss over the position of the deck chairs...

Have a good weekend anyway!

The Observer