To me the issue is not HOW MUCH the county is taking from me, it's THAT they are taking from me!! I dont care if they take 750$, 1000$, or more/less!! as I stated in a previous post, I'm 29 years old with 3 children. EVERY "penny" I can save is a step forward for myself and my children! As for your post above Mike...you are 100% corerect on your post above, there is many people that indulge in Starbucks, or city brew in the morning. But not all of us!! Some of us have had to tighten our belt during this tough economic time, AS SHOULD OR GOVERMENT!! They are no better than we are. Going back to you comparing a forced tax on me to ordering coffee....if I choose to spend MY HARD EARNED MONEY on coffee, chocolate milk for my kids, or whatever else my mind chooses, THATS MY MONEY, THERFOR MY CHOICE!!!! You people for this tax need to open your eyes. If your for this tax, do me and my kids a favour, donate your money if you have extra. You'll feel better donating anyways. Heck if you have to much money, get ahold of me, I know lots of people that could use extra.
Could we have a poll question concerning adding flouride to city drinking water. Maybe run it the first week in Nov. then we could talk about liberation from the mandatory, one-percent (MOP) Tax on Friday, Nov. 5th?
Don't take freedom for granted.
Give me Liberty or....
This week's poll deals with the fluoride issue. I'm not sure what is planned for the weeks after that. Any suggestions are welcome to email@example.com
"As a way of raising funds for good causes; do you prefer taxation or donation?"
That is exactly what is at issue on re-imposing the one-percent tax. The above question goes to the heart of the matter. Where the money goes after it is collected and which causes are "better" is NOT at issue. That's just squabbling over the scraps.
Forced taxation or Voluntary Donations. That is the question before us on Nov. 2. Which way of fund-raising do we prefer? Which is more in-keeping with a free and civilized, American society?
Cato, I do at least commend you for your tenacity and determination, and have noticed that you take special care in your posts to select certain wording to effectively give things a particular image that you are intending to convey (could certainly refer to this as "spin").
However, I notice you tend to misrepresent the amount that actually is coming from "individual residents" when you make your $1,000 claim.
A substantial percentage of sales tax collected in Sheridan county is paid by tourists. How large a percentage I am not sure is even accurately determinable, but the Sheridan economy does get a lot of revenue from tourism and thus logic dictates that a proportional amount of the $20million is coming from tourists, not just your neighbors.
If we guess that 25% (I'm guessing that could still be an under-estimation. If anyone has some valid figures please feel free to provide clarification thanks) of the sales tax revenue is from tourists, then the probable annual average amount from each county resident is likely closer to $190. ($760 in a 4year period. approximately 52 cents per day)
Arguably this amount is way lower than many residents spend every year on non-essential items like a coffee in the morning from CityBrew or Starbucks on their way to work.
Very likely they have many ways they could easily save more than $190/year by changing certain habits.
(you of course use the "4 year" value in your posts, as it is bigger and more frightening than an annual representation. If people calculated how much they spend in 4 years on things like soda, coffee, cigarettes, eating fast food instead of eating at home... they likely would be astonished at the totals. You and I both know that many people could make a sandwich at home for a tiny fraction of the cost of a fast food restaurant, and arguably way healthier)
I find it interesting that you portray this 1% tax as being significantly stressful on the budgets of yourself (presumably, so forgive me if that is inaccurate) and your neighbors, but then you in the same post will claim that those same people would actually have this "extra cash" (if the tax went away) that they would then joyfully donate to local projects/causes?
This is effectively a contradiction because if that amount of cash was "extra" and thus "joyfully donated", then it was clearly not critical to their finances and thus the 1% tax was not stressing their budget.
Also, to presume that community would get even remotely similar benefits by pure donations alone, is quite a utopian pipe-dream (specially when you factor in the reality that a substantial portion of that funding comes from tourists who are extremely less likely to give a donation to a town they simply drove stayed a night in or ate a meal in), people it seems are in general far more selfish and greedy than that and will of course use the money for their own personal benefits.
So this seems to somewhat shoot down the dream of restoring "joyful voluntary donations" as a reason for getting rid of the tax.
This also can make everyone think of how the tax came about in the first place, likely nobody was donating money but there were things that the community was desiring to have, and the tax was proposed as a way to facilitate the funding of such things, and then the community democratically voted on doing it or not, and as a result it went into effect.
Since it is a democratic process, and everyone does get a say by their vote and everyone has a choice on where and how to purchase their desired products I would say it is quite a stretch to declare it to be a "mandatory" tax, describe it as "extracting money" from people, or characterize it as immoral or "imposing your will on your neighbors".
I'm quite sure that we have all agreed to live in a democratic society here and have agreed to a general "majority rules" decision making process by way of casting our vote at the ballot box. Also we're all definitely understanding that there is essentially no single item that everyone will completely agree on (one of the primary reasons things are put to a vote and then 'majority rules').
The truth is people are actually willingly choosing to purchase things and spend their money, and the majority voted for the tax so it was not forced against the collective will of the community at all.
I'm fairly certain the tax will be approved again (if this poll is any rough approximation, it seems it will), and fairly certain everything will be just fine, and I am completely certain a very large number of residents, including residents who voted against it, will continue to enjoy benefits from it around town largely not realizing how things were funded (unless they pay attention and see the signs displaying that it was paid for by the 1% tax).
all that being said, please everyone (who is legally and physically able to) get out and VOTE!
Mike, thanks for the thoughtful post. I appreciate the fact that you would notice my wording and provide counter-arguements for re-imposing the tax. I am using the exact same "biased" wording that the tax-imposers have been using on us for decades.
The paper recently headlined, "renew the "optional" tax or deny it." Renew chosen because it a much nicer than impose and "deny" as if it's the gov'ts money and the tax liberators are attempting to "deny" the money to gov't. It is absolutely Orwellian and that "biased" or propaganda language goes back to calling it a "penny" tax. I called them on that in '06 and they switched to "cent" as it is closer to the legal language, which is "Percent."
If the tax is re-imposed (impose being the correct legal term) then paying it is not an option. Thus it is mandatory.
"Do you want to re-impose the mandatory one-percent tax?" that is the question before us, presented in un-biased, legally correct language.
To ask, "Should we renew the optional 1-cent tax" is a deliberatly mis-leading question. It is biased towards re-imposing the tax and smacks of (former) Soviet-style, propaganda. I choose to be honest with the voter and treat them as rational, thinking adults.
Tourist do pay some of the tax, no question, but that's even worse (more immoral) that imposing the tax on our neighbors. Tourists drop in off the highway, spend money and pay the tax and get almost zero benefit from the tax. Is that fair? Is that a good reason to re-impose the tax? Making others pay for our parks is the heighth of hypocracy. Taking money from others to pay for our goodies is at the core of our objections to the MOP Tax. Imposing the tax on people who derive no benefit from it, is one of the key objections to the tax.
There's a name for taking money from people who drop in off the highway. It's called highway robbery and it's even worse than robbing your neighbors. They at least, get some modest benefit from the tax.
And yes, I must list the cost side of the tax, because it is not mentioned anywhere else. Only the benefits get touted, never the costs. And the four year avg. total must be put before the voter, (if we are being forthright0 because that is the period that the tax is imposed.
The $1000 times 20,000 taxpayers is just a swag to reach the 20 million dollar total. Each of us will have to do our own cost/benefit computions, but at least this gets people to think about the "hidden" cost side of the tax.
Re-imposing the tax will extract 20 million dollars from the private sector and put in in gov't hands. That is just a fact and people will be voting on whether or not that's a good idea. I've got more than a dozen good reasons for keeping that money in the taxpayers pockets. Effeciency, high costs vs. low benefit, and the rudeness of forcing your opinions on your neighbors are just a few good reasons for freedom.
Here's a thought-proking question. You say that the tax was imposed because people were not voluntarily giving enough. First, how much is "enough" and who determines that amount and second, if people don't "give enough" is the solution really forced taxation? Is forced taxation better than voluntary donation? Do you really believe that if taxpayer don't donate up to your standard that they should have the tax imposed on them? Really think about that won't you and thanks again for the thoughts. The only "justification" I've seen for re-imposing the tax is a vauge, "well it does good things, so I'll vote to re-impose it."
The greater damaged the tax does to our taxpayers is never addressed. That's why I'm working on this issue. Someone has to speak up for the economically challenged. Someone has to inform the public about the true nature and costs of this regessive and punishing tax.
"Here's a thought-proking question. You say that the tax was imposed because people were not voluntarily giving enough."
Maybe there is a very good reason people "were not giving enough", maybe they were against what the money was wanted for.
Thank you MIKE for posting!
Top ten Reasons for Liberation from the Mandatory One-Percent (MOP) Tax:
10. The MOP tax is regressive and punishes the poor, most.
9. Voluntary giving is more joyful than forced taxation.
8. Lower taxes produce smaller, more effective gov't.
7. High taxes depress the economy most, during recession.
6. Imposing your will on others is im-moral and im-polite.
5. Gov't is the least effecient means of spending money.
4. A dollar in taxes = less than 50 cents in benefits.
3. $1000 taken from 20,000=$20 Million. Are you getting your share?
2. Local public servants and employees are paid by MOP funds, any wonder they support it.
1. Freedom to choose is better than forced taxation. Always and forever.
If you could vote to lower your taxes, would you consider doing so? We have that chance on Nov 2.
I initially vote yes on this poll, but with the state planning on raising the gas tax 10 cents a gallon I must now reconsider this vote. There are many wothwhile projects and organizations funded with the one percent tax, but the increase in the gas tax would put too much of a burden on the people.
This is one of the only taxes we can vote to reduce. Since we can't control property, income or other taxes, when we have the opportunity to lower this tax burden, we should jump at the chance. Especially during a severe recession, every penny we can keep in our pockets, counts.
I guarantee that the police and fire fighters will still be on duty come Nov. 3. The parks, paths and senior center will all still be accessable.
When we lift this regressive tax burden, charitable giving will increase and people will re-discover the joy of giving voluntarily.
Besides, if we don't like paying 5% sales tax, we can re-vote in just 11 months. But if we re-impose the tax, we're stuck till Jul 2015. How's your personal economy looking then?
The only way I would ever vote for this tax is if the voters were actually able to vote for EXACTLY what each percentage of this tax would be paid for. Each time it comes up, we hear all about the library, this, or that and there actually are a few that I do care about. Then comes the things like using taxpayer money for private business and things that really benefit few if any citizens and I begin to wonder. Maybe rather than just pushing for the almighty tax draw to be reimposed, maybe those in power(?) should explain exactly to the penny where this money will be going. The small towns around here could surely use the money for necessities rather than frivolties like walking paths that only benefit a very few. This tax comes from the entire Sheridan County, how many people from Sheridan County actually use these walking paths (for example only) compared to the number that are forced to pay this 'imposition tax'? As far as the jobs that are created, how many of these 'paycheck recipients' are getting wages that are way above the average Sheridan County wage scale? Someone commented recently about how RENEW (only another example)needs these funds to stay in business. Just recently they lost some State funding, a major crisis, they needed that money to care for those people they 'deeply cared about' but don't you think that if they cared that much they would have taken a pay cut at upper management levels rather than cut the jobs for the people that were doing the actual work? Personally, I will never again vote for this 'imposition tax' until I know exactly where this (MY) money is going! CATO, you have every right to say what you want about this, the voting period is fast approaching, those wanting and begging for this tax will be doing everything they can to get this pushed through, you have every right to try and stop it.
Cole.., thanks for the kind words and I agree with everything you said, with one small exception. I wouldn't vote for the tax, even if I had complete say over how it is spent. You see, for me, "how" it is spent pales in comparison to the way the money is "collected."
Forced taxation is a huge negative and should always be the last resort for raising funds. After we've exhausted all other voluntary means, like: donations, raffels, bake sales, telethons and any number of good, voluntary means, do we descend to forced taxation. It should be reserved only for constitutionally authorized needs like defense.
Please discuss this with friends and see how they view the issue. It's about freedom to donate vs. forced taxation. It's a core American value. Freedom to keep the fruits of your labor and the discretion over how it is spent and by whom.
I have regularly voted yes for the one cent sales tax however this year I will be voting no as I am not supporting buying Rocky Mountain Ambulance (a privately owned service) a new ambulance with these funds when the city of Sheridan has there own ambulance service (Sheridan Fire-Rescue). Why would we support a privately owned business if we own the same business? Does this mean we are going to buy Circle S Sanitation a new truck even though we pay for the city of Sheridan to pick up our trash? Doesn't make sense to me, perhaps it has something to do with one of the co-owners of Rocky Mountain Ambulance being on the City Council hmmmm....
I just wanted to say that Rocky is a privately owned company. However, they have a contract with the county to go on all Sheridan County calls outside the city limits ie Ranchester, Dayton, Story, and out towards Clearmont. All these towns have volunteer groups associated with them, and they stabilize a patient until Rocky can get there to transport with advanced life support. Sheridan Fire-Rescue does not have a contract with the county outside the city limits for those 911 Ambulance calls. This would be the reason why the county used this tax money to buy the Ambulance. The article in the paper said that the County owns the Ambulance and Rocky is using it because of the county contract. To me it is comforting to know that Sheridan County used this money to help people when they are in need of emergency care.
We might as well be "comfortable" as we descend into Great Depression II, with high taxes killing the local economy.
Like you, I find this disturbing. I have no bone to pick with Rocky Mountian but your argument holds a lot of water. Government has no business taking resources from the tax payers and giving them to a for profit company. I do feel a little different about money to the senior center or renew, I don't mind funding services for the elderly, handicapped, or those less fortunate.
I agree. Public and private money should not be mixed. And please feel free to donate to the senior center. It is a very worthy cause. In fact, any charity or group listed as getting one-percent funds, will gladly accept your voluntary donation.
And that will still be the case after we lift the one-percent tax burden.
The problem here is not the tax, its the City Council members that we vote in. Vote yes on the tax and watch who you vote for when it comes to the city council. Dont punish the public and the businesses because our City Council authorizes businesses to spend the funds on unnecessary things. Or go and talk with the City Council.
Lower the tax and the gov't has less money to mis-spend. Don't punish the growing majority that support tax liberation.
Well said and you put your finger on one of the key issues about this tax. The gov't does not "Trust You" to spend your own money, wisely. They falsely believe that only gov't knows best how to spend your money. They think or the taxpayer as mere milkcows, who's only job is to pay the tax and un-wittingly vote to re-impose it.
By definition: No one on earth can spend money more wisely and effeciently, than the person who earned it.
Im 29 years old, with 3 kids. Trust me, I can use this money in ways to benifet myself, and my children, in way better ways than the county can decide to spend it for me. I know I'm not the only one in this situation. Sheridan county residents, please vote this out. We have alot of tax money in this state, and county as it is. Whether it be from methane, gas taxes, or any of the other NUMEROUS taxes we pay on a daily basis. Even if you are for this tax, please do not force it on me, and others like me that could use this money. Donate your money if you choose.
CATO, I think everybody that reads this board gets the point that you are not for the 1% tax. We don't need 10,000 posts that say the same thing over and over. You are starting to beat a dead horse with all your rhetoric!!!
Zebra, I support renewing our right to decide who gets our money. I support tax liberation and the banishment of forced taxation. Let's replace forced taxation with voluntary donation. Isn't giving more joyous?
Anyone not choosing to read the well-thought out, logical and factual posts that are here, is totally free to skip mine.
Unlike the tax, I will not force my will on others.
Please grant others the same right to choose?
Vote "No" to re-imposing the mandatory, one-percent tax.
yes! There are alot of jobs that rely on this and their are alot of good services that funded by this. It is here to help Sheridan. As a Sheridan resident why wouldnt you support it?
So you support re-imposing this tax on your neighbors because some people get paid by the tax and you think some "good services" are funded? Ok, let's examine that premise.
First, almost all "jobs" that rely on tax dollars are a net drain on the economy. Money must be taken from the private sector in order to "pay" for those jobs. That's called wealth re-distribution and is, in fact, wealth destruction.
Extracing wealth from those that produced it and tossing the money into gov't coffers is a net loss.
It is un-sustainable. Ask anyone in Russia.
Second, whether or not the programs are "good services" is subjective. If you think they "do good" then feel free to donate as much as you'd like to them, but don't force your neighbors to do the same. They may not think they are good causes and you have no right to make them pay for your percieved "good causes."
Will you proudly tell your neighbors that you want to re-impose this tax on them?
Why wouldn't thinking people support tax freedom?
Cato- Have you looked at the list of agencies that get funding from this?? I myself go to the Fulmer Library as well as the WYO Theatre and that is just 2 on the list. I am voting for this to HELP out my neighbors. I know of several people that access RENEW (who gets funds from this) I also know of people that seek help from the Juvenile Drug Court as well as the Advocacy Center AND I know many people who go to the Senior Center for food, activities, and social activities as a senior. I dont access those 4 agencies but my 'neighbors' do and therefore I am voting to help my neighbors.
If imposing a tax on your friends and neighbors is your idea of "help", please do me the favor of NOT "helping" me and other tax liberators, who want to lift this regressive tax burden from our friends.
If you think there are "good causes" out there, then by all means donate as much as you choose to any charity you choose, but please allow the rest of us the same right to choose.
Re-imposing the mandatory one-percent tax is forcing your will on others, not "helping". All true help is offered voluntarily.
I've been pretty dead set against voting yes on the tax, but I am going to read what you quote here and reconsider. Honestly the arguments that 1% sales tax somehow hurts the economy are getting a bit stale, as are some of the arguments here that basically all taxes are evil. Certainly I think helping the handicapped and senior citizens are both good goals, as are parks and pathways. What I don't want to read about anymore is crap like county wide building codes, new patrol cars every year, and legal battles involving the mayor and the police. I expect government to spend that money as if it came from someones pocket, because it does.
I appreciate you reading my post and looking at who the tax benefits. We cant punish the many good businesses that rely on this tax because a few of the businesses have used it in a manner that some people dont like. There are so many businesses out there that rely on this revenue and many of those businesses benefit the residence of Sheridan. The Free Clinic is a great example. They get funds from the tax and they serve the people that cannot afford going to the doctor all the time. While there are places that may be 'abusing' this revenue the majority are using it in a healthy manner and serving Sheridan for the better. We have to be willing to overlook the negative in a situation like this and look at the positive. If this tax doesnt pass then jobs will be lost and come companies could be shut down. If not shut down then they could lose the funding that helps them provide services.If I had the means to donate, I definately would. By voting for this we are looking out for the residence in Sheridan and to me thats the big picture and the important part. You can go and look at the site for the 1 cent optional tax in sheridan,wy. If you google it you can find it. There is information on there as well as the applicants in Sheridan County and the City of Sheridan.
CL, please hang in there for tax freedom. The only way to keep gov't in bounds is to limit their access to our money. The principle that people spend their own money better than gov't is valid. In fact, all the logic and reason are on the Tax Liberation side of this debate.
Remind the gov't whose money it really is and they will spend it more wisely.....they have to when there's less of our dough in their coffers.
Tax freedom is based on sound economic principle and practice. One percent is $1000 taken from 20,000 taxpayers ($20 million over four yrs.) It adds up and it needs to be returned to the rightful producers. The taxpayer and yes, we can win in November.
As a Sheridan resident I know the truth about how damaging this tax burden is to the vast majority of us. We don't see the costs because all that is ever presented are the goodies. The paper lists the 20 "good services" but fails to list the individauls that pay the cost, thru taxes.
One way to look at the true costs is to make an average model. 20,000 people have $1000 extracted from them to "fund" these programs. (that's the $20 million gathered over 4 yrs.) Do each of them get $1000 worth of benefit?
My guess would be 90% of us pay more in the one-percent tax than we ever get in benefit.
Besides, if 51% vote to re-impose the tax, then all are forced to "support" it. Most Americans don't like being forced to do things, especially pay taxes.
So that's my starting point. Forced taxation is a bad thing. I resent my neighbors imposing on me. It's wrong to impose your tastes in music and it's wrong to impose your will on taxes.
I will vote for tax liberation and that imposes nothing on my neighbors. I recognize that we all have a right to spend our money as we choose.
After we free ourselves from the mandatory one-percent (MOP) tax, then we are all free to donate to any good cause we choose. Free to choose is a good thing.
I live in the county, and don't see too much benefit from it out here. I was under the impression that the one cent optional tax was supposed to be for optional "nice to haves" not for essential services. I guess I think at the very least we need to be asking how the county got to be so dependant on this money. As most of the money seems to be going to Sheridan I'll be voting no, at least for now. I will consider next year if there are logical reasons to do so, and government can be better stewards of the public's money.
Please help inform voters during the radio show, this Friday. The topic is: Do you want to re-impose the tax or not, and why? The topic is not, how to re-distribute the largess.
We can squabble till eternity, over our favorite causes. That is not the issue. This vote concerns $20 million and I expect the vote to be very close (as evidenced by this poll).
We need to have people focus on the vote and not the spending. Let's discuss the issue at hand: Re-impose the tax or Liberate us from it.
eg. I support tax liberation because the tax is regressive and falls hardest on the less fortunate. We should lift the tax burden on them.
I support tax freedom because lower taxes and less gov't spending is the only way out of recession.
Lower taxes will attract more shoppers to Sheridan.
Lower taxes will force our gov't to spend more wisely and become more effecient.
Most people dislike taxes, while most people like charitable giving. Spread happiness.
I don't want to get rid of all taxes, just this one, for now. Since it's the only one I know of that we can vote ourselves "free of" I see every reason why we should, especially during this severe recession. Most of us need even that one percent. Besides it's our money and the gov't needs to be more effecient with it.
People will still pay for essential services thru property and cap taxes, as well as donations. The world will not end when this tax does. Just the immoral concept of imposing the will of some, on others.
While I understand the need for the optional sales tax at the same time did any of you know that our juvenile justice system here in sheridan runs 75% of their funding from this penny option? We only have a holding facility for youth, and no juvenile judge, we have district court which handles the juvenile cases. Is this something we want to continue to fund?
of course this is something we should fund! Do you know where the troubled juveniles will go if there is no option in Sheridan? I am speechless at the options coming from this town. This tax HELPS Sheridan. Its stays in Sheridan to help businesses who help the residence. Of course there will be some money spent in a way that we dont agree with but dont punish the other agencies that help Sheridan's growth. These agencies provide services to all walks of life here in Sheridan. I think its a small price to pay to help Sheridan's growth.
If you think it's a "small price to pay" then you should choose to pay it. But don't force your opinion on everybody else.
$20 million=20,000 taxpayers having $1000 dollars (each) extracted from their pockets and transfered to gov't. That's a HUGE price to pay.
Please don't punish the 20,000 with "do-gooder" socialist wealth re-distribution schemes.
Who are these tax imposers?
mah- there will be a place for juvenile to go in Sheridan even if this tax is not renewed, so please be realistic. Many good points in this discussion have been the fact that many families are feeling the pain and can't afford much more, businesses "need" this to stay open, and that gov't should be just mishandling the taxpayers money. There are several good and negative points to this tax and I think wading through all of this is going to be lengthy. Overall, I would say this, juveniles and other agencies dealt with life before this tax and thus, can deal with it either being or not being renewed. So... if the free clinic has to close, there will be other ways for people to get care. RENEW will continue to operate even if this tax doesn't get renewed and so on. Realisitically, if the tax isn't renewed all agencies that were receiving funds will figure it out.
I agree with the mom of three who says that she doesn't want to be imposed on and for people to think about that. My family and I don't have extra money to pay for parks and sidewalk paving and the other things this tax was used for. If people are able to help their neighbors and want to contribute, then by all means please continue to support those that this tax goes to. Too many families are having to make tough choices in Sheridan county about whether to feed their families or pay the light bill, buy medicine,etc. Thus, many people are leaving which will cause a ripple effect.
Point: we all lived before this tax, we can all live again without this tax. Just because this tax might not get voted in again, there is always the option in the future for it.
REally? where do these juveniles go? Do you work with them currently? Do you know how RENEW was run before? Do you know what benefits have come from this income? I am assuming you have insurance or the means to pay a doctor when you are sick. The poor benefit from the Free Clinic. I personally am not a wealthy individual by any means but I am happy to pay this tax to help agencies in the community that in turn help our residence.
Thanks for replying and the good questions. Questions are good healthy discussion and I'm glad that you asked. I will try to answer your questions the best I can. There are various places around this town and activities to do for kids. Now if your talking teenagers, they don't have as many choices, but then I thought that was a parents job to keep care and entertain your own kids. I sure do entertain my own kids and don't expect some tax or anyone else to do that for me. And for those kids that do get into trouble, there is the youth home here, the girls and boys schools. There are places for juveniles to go should they see to it that they get into trouble. In fact the Girls and Boys schools don't get money from the option one-cent so I wonder how they have survived without the tax. Hmmmmm.... Oh yes, we all pay taxes for these facilities to be open. And no other county in WY has the option one-cent in their county so they must deal with their troubled kids in what way again?
And as RENEW has been in business for over 35 years, I think they have figured out how to operate without the extra one-cent tax. See it is called budgeting and if the CEO can't figure out how to run a company without the extra one-cent tax, well then the residents that are at RENEW will have to go to other facilities. Yes, they have choices and there are other companies in Sheridan and throughout WY that can accomodate them. So the guilt card really is only a ploy.
As for your assuming that I have health insurance. Well, I make too much money to qualify for any DFS services and not enough to pay for insurance. I have never used the FREE CLINIC and yes, I struggle to pay for doctor bills too. I choose to use preventive measures and good ole common sense. If I have a cold, I take over-the-counter meds and don't go out in the cold. I take care of myself and use ways that help me to prevent going to the doctor. This is a whole topic in and of its self =people who go to the doctor just because they have a sniffel, I'll save that for another time as we are talking about the tax here.
So yes, I'm what you could call the working poor. Make too much to qualify for govt. assistance and just enough to make it to the next pay day. Wealthy-not a chance.
So for me, paying the extra one-cent on everything is a pain. I could put my money to better use in having to pay for my own bills rather than some paving, some companies CEO's salary, or the many other things that the agencies have used this tax for.
Have I answered all your questions? Looking forward to your reply.
Excellent post, Me, and thanks for speaking up. You are right on every point. Sheridan got along fine for more than 100 yrs, without this tax and we'll do just fine without it. In fact, I expect a spike in chatitable giving, after we lift this tax burden.
I would urge you to stay engaged and continue to discuss this with friends. It's a very crucial $20 million question, and we need to air both sides of the issue. The benefits are on view , but the costs are widely dispersed and hidden. 20,000 of us fork over $1000 each, in order to pay the salary of our public servants. Seems a waste to me.
The one cent sales tax was a good idea who's purpose has gone arye! It was intended to provide BASIC SERVICES for the betterment of Sheridan County! The voters and county commisoneers of the day didn't envision the huge amount of money this little penny would generate. Fast forward 40 years,new voters, commisoneers and millions of dollars and how do we spend it all? How bout wasting it on crap we don't need or replacing new equipment with newer equipment at a huge loss! Lets buy a car for select employees to drive home so we the people feel safer. We've wasted so many tax dollars what About the KIDS? We do a good job of spending on seniors but remember what happened a year ago? The outrage of kids having nothing to do! Has anything changed for the betterment of the youth of Sheridan County? Ask yourself that before marking your ballot for an out-of-control tax that needs to be reined in and reevaaluated!
please change my what ever from I hear voices to SAY WHAT! hope you can do this for thanks.
Kids don't vote, but seniors do. Thus, a concentration of benefits to those most likely to vote. That's one of the deceptions that has kept this tax going, in the past.
"Widely dispersed costs and concentrated benefits."
Spread the costs widely enough and people don't feel the pain. Concentrate highly-visible benefits to those that vote and they'll vote to keep their gravy train flowing. They vote for their own "gain."
Guess if I'd found a way to get my neighbors to buy my lunch, I might vote for it, too. But then, I couldn't, because I live by a moral code.
The tax needs to be eliminated.
Actually, I think the original purpose was to provide "nice to haves" and NOT used for essential services. They are funded thru basic property taxes and our legislature didn't want local gov'ts to use the one-percent for essentials and thus become reliant on a tax that could go away at voter discretion.
I believe several of our current leaders are on record stating that fact. It was never intended that the voter be put in a position of having to re-impose the one-percent or risk losing police and fire protection. That kind of fear-induced voting would bias the very nature of an "optional" tax.
Anything that attempts to influence the voter to re-impose the tax is specificaly prohibited.
First, returning to our previous discussion, your claim that when taxes are "too high," not only impedes private sector economic growth, but it also has the impact of actually reducing government revenues, is correct. (Although I think you focused primarily on the reduced growth, rather than reduced revenue.) This is because very high taxes can stifle private sector growth to such an extent that the reduced tax base (from reduced growth) exceeds the additional revenue from higher taxes. (Also, tax evasion increases under these circumstances.) This has been demonstrated both empirically, as well as with theoretical models.
However, the empirical examples that you point to, such as when Reagan reduced taxes, are very different than the current circumstances. The federal income tax was around 91% for those in the upper tax bracket when President Reagan reduced them--I believe to around 50%. Currently, the federal income tax rate is 31% and 34% (for those in the upper tax bracket). If the Bush tax cuts expire, they will go up to 39% for those in the upper tax bracket. Now, it is difficult to say whether or not we are around the point where further reductions in (federal income) taxes would have enough of a stimulative effect on the private sector so that government revenue would actually go up. This was not the case when the "Bush tax cuts" were initially implemented. However, there were other circumstances, (such as 9/11) which also played a roll. They stimulated private sector growth to an extent. Unfortunately, it was not enough to offset government expenditures, so they did not "pay for themselves."
Also, it is not true that reducing taxes past a certain point will continue to encourage private sector economic growth. (Not to mention the reductions in the public sector, which is a significant part of any modern economy.) This is because most private sector development requires infrastructure and other public investments. There are other reasons and ways to show this, but the calculations are too complex for me to wrap my head around.) I think that there certainly should be changes in how the government spends our money and we need to be vigilant because gov easily becomes bloated.
Essentially, a certain level of taxation encourages both public and private sector development. Taxes that are either too high or too low stifle economic growth.
As far as the one percent (commonly known as the one-cent tax--I don't really think the language has the impact you say it does, in this case) sales tax is concerned--I don't know. It does nothing to change my personal spending behavior, but I don't spend very much so it does not add up to a lot.
Thanks again for your excellent and thoughtful reply. The Laffer Curve and finding "the right" tax rate is but one of a dozen good reasons for tax liberation. Here's a simple one. When we free ourselves for this tax, nothing will be "taken" from anyone, except the ability to "force" our opinions on our neighbors, via mandatory taxation. That's a good thing.
Plus, everyone will still be free to donate as much as they want, to any cause they deem worthy. No one will prohibit voluntary fund-raising. Less forced taxation and more voluntary giving will make Sheridan a kinder place.
A mirror-image to this tax question would be a ballot initiative that bans voluntary charity donations in Sheridan Co.
"All charitable giving in Sheridan is banned." Yes or No?
If a majority vote to ban all charity, then they have imposed their will on how their neighbors can spend their own money. Would we tolerate that? No.
Then why do we tolerate the reverse? If a majority vote to re-impose the tax, then they "impose their will" and force their neighbors to spend their own money, as the majority dictate. An exact Mirror-Image (logical sylogism).
Justify one and you justify both.
Deny one and you deny both. We can no more ban charity than can we force it.
Let's take a break from imposing on each other.
Let's have a break for a while. We are all having to tighten our belt, it's time that the government needs to, as well as our hospital. Profit share, Oh my gosh.
Regarding the optional sales tax: As families have to spend less, so should government. Maybe Sheridan Memorial Hospital, a non-profit hospital, should not be giving their employees thousands of dollars for profit sharing. I find it interesting that they can even receive a profit sharing check as they are a non profit hospital that is funded by our tax dollars.
Good point and I agree. Besides, when I use services at the hospital or any place else, I expect to pay for them myself. I don't try to shift the costs to my friends and neighbors. That would be wrong, yet that's exactly the type of cost-shifting that happens with the mandatory, one-percent tax. (I call it mandatory because, once it's in place, we don't have the "option" to NOT pay it.)
In fact, it's only "optional" for one day, every 4 yrs. and then, only if we vote it out. Only then is giving to good causes truely optional.
Didn't the paper run a story about Rocky Mt. getting a new buggy with One-Percent funds. Can you do that? Public funds going to a private company?
Oh, yea, AIG, Goldman-sacks, GM........
Isn't combining gov't with private industry one of the tenents of socialism, communism and fascisim?
They used to say Hitler made the trains run on time. What was gov't doing in the train business, anyway. Look what it lead to.
I'm going to vote no this time, the private sector has to tighten it's belt and it wouldn't hurt the county to do so too. If the situation changes the county can always ask for the tax to be reimposed next year.
And if, by some fluke, it gets re-imposed this time, we're all stuck with it till 2015.
By Law, we can vote it out this Nov. and it doesn't go away till Jul 2011. We can then re-vote in Nov 2011.
I think we can get along for a few months to try out a lower, 5% sales tax.
Besides, it's a good idea to remind gov't that it's our money and they need to be good, effecient stewards of our wealth. I think they start to take it for granted and dole it out like candy, to any pog that can fill out an application.
I'd much rather be the one deciding which good causes I'll support with my money. Don't need some public servant to tell me how to spend my hard-earned dough.
The Wyoming State law that authorizes the one-percent sales tax is very clear in it's wording. The law always uses the correct term "Percent" and never the word "penny" or "cent." That's probably because those words inaccurately describe the added tax and calling the tax a "penny" or "cent" could be seen as a deliberate attempt to diminish the tax, in the voters perception. That's "political" speech, which could influence the vote and is specifically prohibited. The tax should always be referred to by it's correct and legal term: Percent.
In addition, the law always uses the term "Impose" when asking what the voter wants to do. If the tax is not currently in place, then we shall be asked, "Do you want to "Impose" the One-Percent Sales Tax"? If the tax is aleady imposed, then we are asked, "Do we want to "Continue" to Impose?"
Not "renew" and not "continue." The correct term is, "Impose."
A more accurately (and un-biased) worded question would be: Do you want to "Re-Impose" the One-Percent Sales Tax?
And if you add the word "Why" to the question, then we can really get a discussion going, on this most important topic.
I support the right and freedom to choose which good causes our money goes to. When our money is taxed away from us, we lose discretion over where and how it is spent. How we spend our own money is a natural right, which is being violated by re-imposion of the one-percent tax.
I support restoration of our right to choose and actively support Tax Liberation.
While I agree with this to some extent, we pay taxes for services we all use, and government provides. If we had no taxes (which you seem to advocate here) we would have no police, no ambulance, no plowing of roads, no national forests or parks, no schools!
I really don't want to live in a country where corporations run the police and fire departments, the rich own the national parks and forests, and there is no public education.