A First Time For Everything – I Just Voted YES On A Tax Increase

by Ron Haynes

When it comes to financial matters, I’m very conservative and a tax increase is something I have never, ever been in favor of. That changed today when I voted “yes” on a sales tax increase for my city.

Why I voted to raise my own taxes

new-fire-truck I live in a town that’s the economic hub of more than 500,000 people and like other cities and municipalities, we’ve been affected by the economic downturn that began in 2007. Shortly thereafter, we elected a mayor who was a former banker and very frugal. As I understand it from some people I know in city government, he is highly reluctant to spend money. City department heads dread going to him to ask to issue purchase orders and he reviews the city’s cash flows daily. I think that’s a good thing.

This year, our firefighters and police officers need to replace much of their rolling stock (police cruisers and fire trucks) and frankly, the money just isn’t there. As a result, we face the prospect of closing at least one fire station and reducing our police force significantly. This sales tax increase is worded to ONLY provide funds for these public safety services.

What happens when a city loses fire stations?

Homeowners insurance companies not only use CLUE reports in making decisions about how much to charge, they also use a city’s fire rating. That rating is based upon how many homes and businesses are serviced by each fire station in a city. If my city lost a fire station, we would lose one, possibly two ratings points. What that means to me is much higher homeowners insurance premiums – and that increase would be much more than the extra sales taxes I would pay each year.

cuStudentLoans

So in an ironic twist of circumstances, a tax increase actually will result in more money in my pocket while helping police officers and fire fighters provide services to me and to other fellow citizens.

Oh yeah, the tax expires in four years. The thinking is that by then, the economy will rebound enough that the extra money won’t be needed. If our mayor can manage to pull that off, he needs to be elected to a higher office!

UPDATE: The sales tax increase passed, so my homeowners insurance won’t be going up!

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.


The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.


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{ 6 comments }

Ser

it’s funny you think this tax will expire in 4 years. taxes hardly ever expire, once they get in the door they’ll be extended again and again and again.

Ron

It can’t be extended because it has an actual termination date. The only course of action would be for the mayor and city council to submit an entirely new piece of legislation to the voters in another special election.

I agree with your premise though – rarely do any taxes go away, we just adjust our spending and put up with them.

kseahag

He should nominated to be the President of the USA :)

Ben23

Voting for any tax increase is always foolish.

You acted on hearsay and zero evidence.

Sight unseen, I guarantee your current city budget/expenditures could be cut 10% with zero impact on services delivered. They could be reduced 25% with a little analysis and planning. Your sainted mayor and former bankster is NOT doing the job you hired him for. Any politician advocating tax hikes should be shown the exit door.

Your police and fire departments are already over-manned and overpaid. You don’t know the actual bloated payroll status, but were easily tricked by phony claims of “rolling stock” deficiencies. Exactly how were those all vehicles purchased in the first places (??) — it wasn’t by a special/emergency tax increase. How come all those high-paid city managers were unable to efficiently manage routine maintenance & replacement of their vehicles.

Closing a fire station(s) would be a blessing. The standard formulas for calculating the “required” number of fire stations & firemen are laughably outdated. Modern construction techniques/materials, building codes, fire-alarms/smoke-detectors, firefighting equipment, etc …. have vastly reduced the incidence and severity of fires in America. Thus, there is much less need for so many expensive municipal firemen hanging around the firehouse doing nothing.

Insurance companies have no incentive to change their rules — because they don’t pay a dime for excess firemen/stations. Local politicians and fire/police unions love expanding their empires and wages/benefits at taxpayer expense . This type of foolishness is now bankrupting cities and towns across the nation.

Tighten your belt for hard times ahead– you got taken and are thanking the con-men.

Ron

Hearsay and zero evidence? I don’t recall you following me around, reading what I was reading and speaking with the mayor personally. For your information, our city’s budget has already been cut by 15% or more and believe me, out police department and fire departments are far from over manned.

Closing a fire station certainly wasn’t a blessing for the families in Philadelphia who just lost family members because of their rolling brownouts. While it’s true that insurance companies don’t have any incentive to lower premiums, they certainly DO have incentives to raise them. The extra money I’ll spend on a one half of one percent sales tax increase will be less than half of the premium rise the insurance company was threatening.

I’m not one who pops off at the mouth when I initially hear something — I actually DO my research, and in this case, I did.

The Biz of Life

Bet you a virtual beer they find a way to extend the tax increase beyond 4 years. Once politicians get their hands on money they can’t let go. It’s also a common ploy to say the only places they can make cuts are with firefighters, policeman, or teachers to scare the public into accepting increased taxes when in reality their are many other places they can cut with less impact.

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