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Tax 'em till they bleed philosophy
by David Martin


June 08, 2004

So this morning I stopped by the local voting precinct to cast my "NO" ballot as a protest to the Borough Assembly. Not that one vote is going to mean the difference in this one anyway, because once again locals find themselves over the barrel. I look at it this way, if the sales tax increase doesn't pass, the assembly will eliminate the property tax cap, and raise taxes for property owners, and cut some employees, programs and services. If it does pass, we will pay a higher sales tax, AND they will eliminate the property tax cap so they can raise property taxes, AND they will cut some employees, programs and services.

So either way you look at it, the Borough Assembly will initiate a tax 'em till they bleed philosophy. I wonder if people who can't pay their property taxes for whatever the reason, can petition the assembly for a grant to pay their taxes with? Ya think?

Speaking of looking at it: every day on my way to work I drive by the Ward Cove site, and I look at the veneer plant which, in all probability will never run again, and I'm thinking that even if the whole site were bulldozed flat and turned to an RV park, at least it would generate some revenue. Don't get me wrong, I love logging and the timber industry, but let's get real. It is not coming back even close to what it was. Those days are done, and this romantic interest we've had with it has got to quit. Sell the land and put it back on the tax rolls. They sell towns on eBay, why not the Ward Cove property?

I have never before been a proponent of consolidation. Ever. However, the City seems to have managed itself for more responsibly and I find myself in the position of being open minded to consolidation if it means eliminating the micro-managing, fund everything but schools, and spend it all on pipe dreams Borough assembly. These people that will be laid off are our friends and neighbors. Most of whom, I am sure work hard at what they do, and will bear the brunt of the assembly's fiscal mis-management. There should be no special interest groups funded to any level, if the basic needs of the school district are not met first. And no, I don't include team travel or extra-curricular activities in that funding.

Ever wonder about a "Borough bus" that doesn't go north in the Borough past Wal-Mart? Sell the bus line to private industry. Maybe the Assembly should understand that a business that can't make it goes under. They aren't able to get more money to operate from the Borough assembly the way the Assembly can tax the people. Oh wait, I forgot about Gateway Forest Products ( A few million in bail out - gone), and the Bowl company ( another few million in bail out - gone.)

I know full well that this rant isn't going to go anywhere, but thanks to Sitnews for providing the forum to vent.

David Martin
Ketchikan, AK - USA




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