you must be joking, i lived there almost one year, salaries are low, rens are high.... goods and services expensive.... why would i want to live there?? I left as soon as possible, now i make more money, cheaper cost of living and a much friendlier community...simply sheridan has NOTHING to offer
So which C-store did you work at?? I would think a person with a PhD would be able to find a good paying job. My family seems be pretty flush in cash for not having as high as an education as you.
For what it's worth, when I moved back last summer, my relocation company did a study and told me that the costs of goods (food, clothing etc..)was 4% less then the Denver Metro area and housing was 6% less.
....yet you continue to come to this site on a daily basis and post about it.
The high sales tax in Sheridan will also prompt people to shop online where it is usually tax-free, as well as simply not shop. During a recession, people cut back on their purchases. Six percent of nothing is what....nothing.
We should lower the sales tax rate to encourage folks to shop Sheridan. They have the option of shopping online or in lower tax areas. Let's signal our citizens that we want and need them to buy locally. Let's lower the tax hurdles that discourage shopping here.
Give me Liberty or....
Give me Liberty or....
It's not the 1% tax that stops people from shopping local, it's price of the item they are buying. Because if you buy a car, RV or anything that needs a title you can buy it in 10 buck 2 and you'll still pay the sales tax. But you might be able to get it for a lot lower price. Same thing when you are talking about large items like furniture, tv's etc..., but when you drive to Billings or pay shipping are you really saving 6%??? probably not.
Long story short, I think the 1% helps alot more people in the Sheridan area than it discourages and that is why I don't have a problem with the 1% tax. You can drive around Sheridan County and see where the tax was spent and I think it has improved our community and therefore I will support it again.
People naturally seek to buy things at the lowest price possible. High taxes encourage folks to buy in lower tax ways. No the one-percent tax doesn't "stop" buying locally, but it, along with the other 5% in tax, will have some discouaging effect on shopping here. That's just economic fact.
If we lower the tax we will, by definition, encouage more shopping locally. That's indisputable.
For those that don't "have a problem" with re-imposing the tax, they are lucky, because if a majority vote to re-impose, it doesn't matter if you do or don't have a problem with the tax; IT Will be imposed on you. And those voting to lower the tax to 5% will have it imposed on them, against their will (by dent of their "No" vote).
I have a huge problem with people imposing their will on others. It's immoral to force your will on your friends and neighbors and shouldn't be done in polite society.
The 35 to 50% that "do" have a problem with re-imposing the tax, are violated. Their right to keep the fruits of their labor is stripped away. Their right to dispose of their income, as they see fit, is also taken away.
A regressive sales tax punishes those at the bottom the most. Don't we have compassion for the less well off? If the tax is lowered to 5% won't the wealthy still donate to good causes?
Let's stop imposing our will on each other. It's not nice. Voluntary donations are so much happier events than forced taxation.
Every time I see one of those self-promoting one-percent propaganda signs, I think of all the wrongs done to those voting for tax liberation. I think of the re-imposition forced on us by the "we know what's best for all" do-gooder crowd. (the tax imposers).
I resent the imposition and will resist it.
I encouage those that recognize the value of freedom to spread the word and vote for tax liberation in November.
I am generally in favor of lower taxes because you are correct, that in some circumstances, it is very effective for stimulating the economy. Lower or no income taxes can make an area very attractive for businesses and bright individuals.
However, you are not correct in several of your claims. First, there is the concept of "diminishing returns," which you are not accounting for. One bar of chocolate may give you x amount of enjoyment, but 10 bars of chocolate does not give you 10x times of enjoyment. Since you have a PhD, I am sure you are familiar with this concept and how it applies to economics. Now, this may, in some ways bolster your claims, in the case the government has "too much" excess revenue.
Second, it is not true that people "naturally" purchase the least expensive item. (I am sorry if I mis-paraphrased you here; I may not have this completely correct) It is true that in traditional economic models, people are presumed to behave "rationally" and will buy the 5-cent soda instead of the 6-cent soda. This model may adequately apply to many situations; however, as we've progressed in our understanding of human behavior and economics, it is really much more complex than the way you describe.
Furthermore, the 1-cent tax amounts to 1 dollar for every hundred dollars in purchases (minus food, which does not have a sales tax). I agree that having lower taxes is generally beneficial for economic growth. But also, having no taxes hurts economic growth. People much smarter than I am have not been able to figure out the perfect balance, (as it also matters what type of taxes we are talking about because not all tax reductions impact the economy equally, and also it matters what the current conditions are) and so I think we should all humble ourselves and realize we do not necessarily know the perfect balance, either. It is at this point, we can begin a productive conversation.
Wyo pat, Thanks for the good comments and I'm with you on lower taxes. It's called the Laffer Curve and builds on Sec Treasury Mellon's work in the 20's. They both proved that when taxes were too high, total tax revenue going into the gov't declined. Harding, Coolidege, JFK and Reagan all lowered the marginal tax rate and totat revenue went up. It's economic and historic fact.
Now, I humbly submit that I don't know what that exact rate is, but I do know that we've had the one-percent tax imposed for two decades, now, and the annual income has declined from 5 to 4.1 to 3.6 million.
Why would we re-impose the tax and hope that that decline will change. That's the definition of insanity.
Let's try an experiment and lower taxes to 5% and see what happens. The tax can be re-newed in just 11 months (by law), while if it's re-imposed, we can't get rid of it till July, 2015. Any guesses on how bad the economy will be in 2012 or 2015? Might we all need a little more "change" in our pockets.
Tax liberation is the type of change that just might slow or stop the declining total tax revenues into the gov't. What's the harm in trying? Don't we learn from our past?
The reason annual income is declining around Sheridan County is because the powers-that-be do not want any business here that will hire a lot of people at high wages. This was in both Sheridan Media and the Sheridan Press.
That was certainly not my experience with homeowner's insurance when living in the Big Horn Basin.
Regarding fuel tax, your same logic(?) applies to sales tax. Therefore, those who do not support the 1% optional sales tax need not purchase anything when they don't feel like paying it.
Looks like we will have to agree to disagree on these issues.
We keep hearing from those in favor of re-imposing the one-percent tax, that we don't have to pay it if we don't buy anything in Sheridan Co. That is correct, but do we really want to encourge folks to stop supporting local businesses and go elswhere to shop? Last vote there were 35% of voters in favor of tax liberation. It will be higher this time, maybe even 50%. What happens if 35-50% of the population quits buying goods in Sheridan? That could have a devastating affect on the local economy and tax revenue.
Voting to re-impose the tax and telling people that don't like the imposition, to "shop elsewhere", is NOT the solution. In fact it is a dangerous idea, especially in a recession.
If tax imposers think it a small tax and it does good things, they are free to donate as much of their money as the want. But they are not allowed to force their opinion on their neighbors, at least morally.
Here's the crux of the matter:
1. The tax is re-imposed. Those opposed are free to shop elswhere. Bad outcome for the local economy.
2. We are Liberated from the tax. The tax imposers are free to donate as much of "their own" money as the choose, as are the tax liberators. Good outcome. We banish force and allow freedom to choose.
I'm a strong supporter of freedom.
Are there really people who proudly say, "I like taxes?" Will you tell your neighbors that you intend to impose your will on them, again? Why is freedom such a hard sell in Amerika?
Maybe more shopping will be done in Billings?
If the one-percent tax is re-imposed, the real winner will be Montana's zero sales tax businesses. Sheridan's yearly "take" from the sales tax was 5 million. It has since dropped to 4.1 million and now 3.6 million.
If the tax is re-imposed on the 35 to 50% of the voters that favor tax liberation, how do you think they will react?
Could enough people realize that for 20 yrs. no one is listening to them at the ballot box, so they'll make an economic point. What if just 10% of the tax liberation voters, tired of being ignored, decided to shop exclusively in Montana for say, two months after the vote? Might that have an effect on seasonal shopping.? Would the imposers hear us if we quit shopping in Sheridan till the spring? How about till we get to vote on it again?
The tax imposers keep reminding us that we aren't "forced" to pay the tax if we don't buy anything here. Maybe we should take them up on it, just to demonstrate how damaging high taxes are to the economy. They don't seem to be hearing all the logical reasons for lowering taxes, especially in a recession.
Maybe when the local cash registers no longer go "Chi-Ching" the tax supporters will be able to hear us. Maybe our voices will be more audible, when only wind and tumbleweeds blow down Main St.
You might want to check out W.S 39-16-103(a)(i-iii) before you tout shopping in Billings or any other so-called 'tax-free' venue.
Perhaps the state needs to rethink passing laws which are unenforceable, and spend their energy being a better steward of the people's money?
The police and fire department will not dissappear if we vote to lower the sales tax rate to five percent. I'm positive of that. Local property taxes pay for vital services, just as they have, in Sheridan, for decades prior to the existence of the one-percent additional sales tax.
The senior center will still be open and the roads will be plowed, after we lower the tax burden to 5%. I'm positive of it.
We gain the freedom to joyfully donate to any worthy cause we choose, when we eliminate forced taxation. The only thing we lose is the ability of some to impose their will on others. That's a very positive thing, it's called freedom to choose.
Roads and bridges are funded by the user fee attached to every gallon of gasoline we pump. No changes there, either.
National defense is authorized by the Constitution and we all fund it by paying federal income taxes. So, no changes there either.
I'm narrowly focusing on the one and only tax rate that we can directly control: The one-percent "optional" sales tax.
It's a regressive tax that is a burden to many, especially during a recession. It should be lifted from the backs of our neighbors. We have no right to impose high sales taxes on others, just because we may deem that some "good" emerges from it's imposition.
One does not, (morally), impose his choices in music, brand of trucks, food or clothing styles, on his neighbor. Why would we do so with taxes?
Let's stop imposing on our friends. It's not polite.
I'm not against all taxes, just this one, for now. It's the only one we can vote away, and we should, in November.
That's quite a change from what you said in your original screed, but thank you for clarifying. For the record, I strongly support the optional 1% county sales tax. It is a very small price to pay and enormously benefits our community.
No change, just more reasons to liberate our friends and neighbors from this regressive tax, which falls hardest on the economically challenged.
Having our rights violated is an enormous price to pay for some marginal communist benefits.
"Free to Choose" is a good rally cry for Tax Liberation Day.
I fail to understand how your rights are being violated or what this could possibly have to do with communism?!?! Quite simply, the majority voted for the optional 1% sales tax in Sheridan County. We voluntarily decided that this was worth the cost for the betterment of our community. You clearly disagree, so I encourage you to exercise your right to vote against it when this issue is next on the ballot.
I voted against the tax in 2006. I did not want to re-impose this tax on myself or my neighbors. Since then, everytime I buy things in Sheridan, I am forced to pay that one-percent tax. My natural right to keep my own personal property (my money) was taken from me. Yes, it was only one-percent, but it's the principle that matters. If a majority of voters are allowed to levy a one-percent tax on the minority, then what's to stop them from raising it to 5 or 10 percent? Why not 50%?
Majority rule does not mean that individual rights may be violated. Could a 51% majority vote to take half of the money of the richest 5 people in town? No, not even a 99% majority can vote to take even a dollar from the richest person in town. That is a violation of the right of individaul self-ownership. Tyranny of the majority was recognized for the dangerous evil that it is. That's why the founders built many safeguards into the Constitution.
Individual rights to life, liberty and property were protected by law.
Here's another way of looking at it. I will vote to free us from the tax. If a majority vote for tax liberation, then nothing is taken away from those voting to re-impose the tax. They are still free to donate their money to causes of their choice. The only thing voting the tax away does is remove one-percent of forced taxation.
A little more freedom. A little more choice for all. A little more of our own money stays in our own pockets. And most importantly, our individual rights are no longer trampeled.
My voting for tax liberation taxes nothing from tax supporters, but when they vote to re-impose (if they are a majority this time) it takes not only my money, it takes some of my freedom.
I fail to understand why some are ok with imposing on their neighbors. We're not imposing on you. Why not live and let live?
Cato, you are right that there are some inalienable rights that we have, which cannot be taken over because of a majority vote. A majority cannot vote to make every Catholic a slave, for example.
And we have a right to "property," but what does that mean? By your line of reasoning, ANY tax is unConstitutional. And I may be wrong, but I don't think that is an accurate reading of our Constitution...but perhaps I am mistaken...still, by your reasoning, EVERY tax is illegal, unless freely "donated" by the individual...do you see what I am saying? Maybe you could clarify this....
Actually, yes, most taxes we have today are in fact un-constitutional. They just haven't, yet, been ruled that way. The founders knew that the power to tax was the power to destroy and they severely limited the Fedgov's ability to tax. "No capitation or other direct tax shall be layed.." was in the original body of the Constit. It prohibited taxing income and forced the states to count their folks and pay for national defense by equally apportioning the amount. The fedgov operated for more than 150 yrs by imposing only import and excise taxes.
About the only tax I will tolerate is a "user fee" like the road use fee on gasoline. Buy gas, use the roads, then pay for upkeep. Don't buy gas, then you're not forced to pay the fee. That's one of my many objections to the one-percent tax. People with no kids, pay for parks. People living in the county and never using the city paths and parks are still forced to pay for them. The costs are widely dispersed and the benefits are concentrated to a few. It shouldn't be that way in a moral, freedom-loving country. If you use something, then you should pay for it.
If you don't use it, you shouldn't be forced to pay. That's like a person enjoying a good meal, then forcing his neighbors to split the bill. That's exactly what the one-percent tax does.
When we liberate ourselves from the tax, we will all still be free to voluntarily donate to any good cause we choose. No more forced taxation of people who derive little or no benefit from things the tax is squandered on.
I read the blogs and I keep seeing this recurring theme.
So is it only the fact that the population voted to have the tax that is upsetting or is it the fact that the minority in the election that share your viewpoint lost the vote?
I am not pleased when a Democrat is elected, for instance, but I accept the fact that when the ballots are counted and the majority has spoken it is over. As such, I accept majority rule which is the basic premise behind our way of life of one person, one vote.
It is my feeling that you are sabotaging your own message at this point and rendering your opinion regarding the opposition of this community voluntary tax inert. If you are serious, I would suggest organizing like minded individuals and run an opposition campaign for November's ballot providing the community with the necessary facts; not belief that shows why this tax is not a prudent choice for the community. This is what the pro-tax believers are doing; and yes that includes the city government who has used this tax over the various administrations toward community ends one way or the other. I can say that from what I see this administration is at least trying to put a more accountable structure to allocating the dollars this time.
That is my two-cents which I give voluntarily.
I'm sorry, but you truly do not understand the history and founding of our country nor our system of government.
The "state" doesn't "fund" anything. Taxpayers do all the funding. It just gets put in differently named pots.
Likewise, there are no "matching federal funds" it's just other taxpayers money, that's been collected into a pot labeled "federal."
Individual business's and taxpayers do all the funding.
Discussing which pot of "OUR" money is used, is a waste of time. We'd be better off talking about ways of reducing our tax burden.....liking voting them lower, when we are given the chance.
It's great that you want to lower taxes. Shall we start with doing away with police and fire departments? How about no more highways, roads, and bridges? Maybe you would prefer that we get rid of the military?
Try putting forth some constructive ideas as opposed to negativity and polical slogans.
We probably could get by without police and full time paid fire departments. Most towns Sheridan's size have a volunteer fire department and the Sheriff's do a good job of handling crime. As for highways roads and bridges they are all paid for with fuel taxes which are voluntarily paid.
You've obviously never lived in town of any size that had a volunteer fire department, otherwise you would know that your home owner's insurance rates will skyrocket. And thank you for "voluntarily" paying fuel taxes. I wasn't aware we had that choice when we filled up at the pump.
Homeowners insurance is not affect by fire protection, only commercial property. Homeowners insurance is affected by location of fire hydrants and fire stations.
I currently own a house in Buffalo where there is a volunteer fire department and my insurance is quite reasonable.
As for the gas tax, if you don't want to pay it today don't buy any gas today. If you don't ever want to pay it again don't ever buy anymore gas. You voluntarily pay it when you make your fuel purchase.