Friday, September 28, 2007

More Property Taxes for Local Health Departments?

Greetings Friends and Neighbors,

This post is from Wing man Ron Mortensen and includes reference news articles which back his commentary.

In case you didn't see the news reports, now local health departments are requesting that state legislators require counties to raise property taxes so health departments will have a stable source of revenue. (See articles below)

Senator Ross Romero (D-Salt Lake) must not have heard about a "tax revolt" since, according to press reports, he appears to be more than willing to raise taxes. In fact, according to the Standard Examiner, he indicated that it might make sense to have the stability of a property tax increase for health departments as opposed to raising the sales and income taxes because they are not stable.

As usual, there is no consideration given to better using the taxpayer funds already collected by state and local governments. If health departments are indeed a critical priority, wouldn't it make sense to transfer funds from lower priority items to this critical area rather than raising property taxes?

Furthermore, there was apparently no discussion of why these folks are talking about tax increases when the state of Utah ended the current fiscal year at the end of June with a $242 million taxpayer funded surplus and when state agencies and public universities are holding and additional $200 million in taxpayer funded surpluses. (See articles below)

Finally, the article also shows the total detachment that civil servants have from reality. You'd think at a time when a property tax revolt was brewing and when governments had huge taxpayer funded surpluses that they would keep their heads down but here they are asking for property tax increases so they will have a stable source of funding.

It just goes to show, that for politicians, including school boards, civil servants, tax experts and special interests, we home and business owners are perceived to be little more than a stable source of revenue. And you thought you owned your home.

It boggles the mind!

Note: Politicians, including school boards, special interests and tax experts love the property tax because it is much more stable over time than the income and sales taxes are. Politicians, including school boards, set the property tax on our homes and businesses at the level they determine and we have to pay whatever they demand regardless of our ability to pay. If our income goes down due to a period of unemployment or due to retirement, the property taxes we owe remain stable and they get their full amount no matter what. On the other hand, the income taxes we pay will decline as our income goes down and we will likely pay less in sales taxes because we have less to spend. So, the bottom line is that those relying on our taxes much prefer making us rent our homes back from them at the rates they set rather than relying on the more volatile income and sales taxes that they have less control over.

Ron Mortensen, Citizens for tax fairness and Wing man

The following articles are for reference:----------------------------------------------------

" Tax Hike For Health?
Officials in Utah say infrastructure faltering”
Standard-Examiner staff


"Local health agencies say they need - The Associated Press
Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated:09/27/2007 10:34:21 AM MDT
Posted: 10:36 AM- OGDEN -


"Utah's $242M surplus not quite as hefty as last year
By Bob Bernick Jr. and Wendy Leonard
Deseret Morning News
Published: September 20, 2007
Deseret Morning News


$200 Million Surplus Criticized
Lawmakers wonder why Colleges, others haven't spent funds
Published September 19, 2007


Valley said...

Incredible! Do these guys not read the paper and know now is probably not the time to ask for more taxes? That cureall shot of subsidized Penicillin may have to go up by $5.

Minor Machman said...

I am told that the State is being literally run by lobbyists. And the legislators refuse to pass ethics laws. The Utah Association of Realtors, Utah Educational Association, etc. etc. The good news is the information the lobbyists put out is generally specific and pure. Bad news is the legislators get a very narrow view of reality...sorta like viewing issues thru a 4 inch pipe. This explains why so many just don't seem to get it. They either can not read or comprehend beyond their own self interests and business' or they are tired of reading all the male bovine excrement put infront of them by the lobbyists so they do not bother to stay in touch with reality.