The Garden City Telegram
3/16/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Your Views

Half-cent tax warrants support

No one likes to think about raising taxes. The upcoming ballot issue on sales tax is not an increase, it is a continuation of an existing tax. Please take the time to become informed on this issue and vote yes for continuing this tax. If you do not own property, do not be naive, if you think voting no will put money in your pocket, you are mistaken, your landlord will have to increase your rent significantly to pay the property tax on your rental if he is facing a 45 percent to 50-percent increase in property tax.

We are being told that it will take a mill levy increase of 17 mills to replace this sales tax revenue. Our current mill levy is 38.963, do the math. If you vote no, this burden will be placed totally on property owners. Share the tax burden. Sales tax is the only fair tax.

Will City Commissioners vote a 17-mill increase, not likely, it would make them unpopular with the public and would jeopardize their future re-election.

Should we be congratulating Commissioners for holding the mill levy at 38.963? The answer to that question is no. Without foresight, they are leaving property owners in great jeopardy. They are robbing seniors on fixed incomes of the security they have in owning their homes as well as placing business owners in a position of profit loss. There should have been incremental mill levy increases over the years that would help bridge this gap should the sales tax issue fail.

We are facing cuts in essential services, police and fire protection. For some reason they are the first cuts on the list. This is wrong and shows mismanagement of this city. The first cuts should be in city hall, parks, zoo, road and then police and fire as a very last resort.

If you reduce the numbers of policemen or firemen, you are not only putting the public at risk, you are putting policemen and firemen at life-threatening risk when they have inadequate numbers to get the job done safely. Comparatively I believe our public safety employees are underpaid, now we are going to add understaffed. Other cuts need to come first, consider cuts in pay for non-essential personnel, understanding that police and fire, first-line defenders are essential personnel.

The management of this city certainly needs some review. This sales tax question should have been for an increased amount and should not be coming at the 11th hour. This reminds me of the electric rate increase, ignored until crisis. And that is ignoring the future plight of electric customers after a recent contract decision that appear to have been made in haste. Property owners cannot bear the full cost of the current economic failures of government at all levels.

TERESA SOUTHERN,

Garden City

Too many groups ask for money

Do you ever get tired of being asked for donations? I do. It is not unusual to get 10 to 20 letters each week wanting me to donate.

I know for sure that one of these organizations has plenty of money and suspect others do, too.

CHARLES SKILLING,

Garden City