Friday, December 14, 2007

Where Do Your Federal Tax Dollars Go? Now that we know 100% of our Utah Income taxes go to education.

Merry Christmas friends and neighbors,

This little beauty with tax information is just out in time for the holidays... Also I just might have found a solution to the possible negatives of acquisition value taxation eg; (a) could be considered difficult for our kids later down stream due to accumulated tax burdens, and (b) difficulty of "selling it" to the Realtor Association lobby. I am talking to Marc Goldstone, Chairman of the Arizona Tax Revolt. They have been working day and night for almost two years on this, plus spent some significant bucks on constitutional legal issues. Although very similar to "acquisition value" they have come up with "baseline value" methodology and preliminarily it looks and sounds promising.

I would like to put together an Advisory Board and do some serious research and collective thinking on this "baseline value" initiative. So if any of you out there are willing to give up some time analyzing and meeting say at the Branch Library in Huntsville please contact me via email. I'd like about a half dozen of us to explore it in detail individually and then meet as a small group to discuss its pros and cons. Need accountants, engineer, early thirties to us oldsters, CPAs, tax legal, business, realtor and plain ole good common sense kinda people for this effort.

We are not alone in this. As it turns out there are groups forming all across America with strikingly similar problems and concerns who are organizing to fight against oppressive bureaucracies who only know how to spend, with unlimited appetites for more and more tax dollars. We just might find ourselves a part of a National Tax Revolt unless legislators start to listen and lobbyists (including apparently our own Lt. Governor) back off and let our legislators legislate on behalf of the people (us taxpayers) instead of the special interest groups they lobby for.



Where Do Your Taxes Go? Find Out Online!
The federal government has announced the early launch of, an online portal to help you find out how your federal tax dollars are being spent. The website was mandated by last year's NTU-backed Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act. Better known as the Coburn-Obama bill, it ensures that information about all federal grant and contract spending above $25,000 is published online for ordinary citizens to review.
This is a monumental achievement for transparency in government. You now have the ability to go online and look at nitty-gritty details about where more than $700 billion of our tax money is going. You can search by recipient name, by agency, even by location down to the city level.
NTU was instrumental to getting that bill passed, including organizing a broad coalition letter with more than 70 organizations signing on, and now we urge you to log on to the website and put it to use!
If you are interested in transparency and accountability in government, visit today and let it start with you.
Thanks to all our NTU members who made this possible!


Richard Sorensen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Richard Sorensen said...

Count me in Mr. Bell

webmaster said...

Utah Educators:

1) My mother had to volunteer 5 years at Chapter One, teaching elementary children to read in order to get part time secretary work at Alpine School District. After those 5 years, she was finally paid for her work. After another 5 years of being promised 'full time' work (including a pension), she was repeatedly asked by the Principals (2 over the years) to voluntarily give up the 'full time' position in order to get the chronically underfunded school more, much-needed secretary help (office administration). End result: 10 years of work with little/no retirement benefits. After 10 years of work, she finally gained what she was promised. Nothing retroactive. After 10 years, she can finally begin accruing pension benefits.

2) My mother in law. Career Utah teacher. Severely disabled. Lives in a trailer park. 30+ years teaching. Very financially conservative. No biological children (adopted 2). Nearly bankrupt, with huge debt. Many medical bills. NOT well insured through Weber County's school district. Not well compensated for her work. May need to medically retire. Will not be paid for retirement.

Please get your facts 100% correct.

Anonymous said...

The machman's facts come from a shap shot of TODAY. Not ten years ago or thrity years ago or five years ago. TODAY, in the here and now. The legislature has pumped two BILLION dollars of NEW money into the Utah public education system in the past two years. We have not seen the results from that yet...or have we. Check out Salt Lake Tribune's website and get your facts madam.

webmaster said...

It's 2007, and both my mother & mother-in-law's salary...when combined together, will finally break $63,000. That's combined. For 2 educators in Utah. Today.

Anonymous said...

Somehow I doubt that. Look at Janitors earn $42,000 a year (excuse me for nine months) in some Counties.

Webmaster said...

Oops! $73,000 combined. My bad. Cheers!

Webmaster said...

Perhaps I can contribute something positive...another perspective. Here's a hypothesis...

Where did the current increase of Weber taxes come from? Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Example: For years, upon military retirement, veterans were promised health care for life. As many know, due to increased costs, the military services balked & refused to pay. The costs had increased.

Due to intense lobbying, Congress acted. Veterans health care for retirees was restored.

In 2003, the Air Force Group (works with Air Staff etc, budgeting) had to re-budget. All programs that normally would be funded were dropped...and then one-by-one scruitinized & possibly funded. Google: KC-135 IIRP. In 2006, the acting SECAF decided that 'new planes' were more important than the current number of Company Grade Officers. Today, 1/3 of the line CGO's are no longer with the AF. Key issue here: budgeting.

Earl Holding, owner of Sinclair Oil, Snowbasin & Sun Valley Ski Resorts, finished the $Millions in upgrades to Snowbasin in time for hosting the Olympics. After the Olympics were completed, he decided that Snowbasin was overvalued, as assessed by Weber County. He contested the taxes with the County. Same time frame...2002-2004. It went to court. In appeals, he won again. Weber County had to Repay $500,000 in taxes to Earl's company.

Unfortunately, Weber County had already spent said taxes. And it had not budgeted correctly for the decreased Snowbasin tax revenue. The taxes had to come from somewhere. Raising taxes requires some voter input. The County can't stop funding costly programs such as healthcare, education. Solution? Increase home values & raise the tax base. $500,000 tax shortfall restored.

Key issue: Budgeting again.

That's just a hypothesis, gentlemen...thoughts?

Minor Machman said...

Sounds logical as a hypothesis and as a metaphor. Wouldn't it be nice if our elected officials felt they could honestly confide such information (if true) with us? The increased assessments do show that someone sent the validating assessors out with the notion to assess high enough so that the taxable value would be much closer to actual fair market value. And of course the mass reassessment just triggered mass amplifications of gross assumptions and outright errors in county assessor's data base. All in all a giagantic mess and one we will be paying for for decades unless significant tax reform gets passed quickly.

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