Letter: Don’raise sales tax because Cottonwood outspending budget

Editor:

The proposal to raise Cottonwood’s sales tax is quite disturbing. It is already at 3 percent. How many thousands of people regularly pay this tax at Cottonwood retail establishments yet receive no goods in return? Perhaps the City of Cottonwood should look at user pay fees to reduce their budgetary burdens. If you use the Rec center, pay a fee. How many thousands around here could care less about a swimming pool or pickle ball or even the library? You use Riverside Park? Pay an entrance fee like at Dead Horse State Park. Interested in Wi-Fi at the library? Pay an hourly fee. Nothing in this world is free. Remember, city residents don’t pay a property tax. They ‘steal’ money from the entire Verde Valley to finance their dreams, wishes and exorbitant amenities.

Obviously, Cottonwood is outspending its budget. Why? And the disturbing part is why should all of the folks who chose not to live within the city limits be subjected to taxation without representation. I suggest that folks spend their money elsewhere if Cottonwood raises their sales tax. The food tax is just plain wrong. Buy more fresh food from local farmers. Grow your own food, or better yet, vote for Council Members who will abolish the food tax. Sales taxes are the most regressive taxes of all. Taxing food is the most regressive of the regressive sales taxes.

We have an aging population. That also means there is not a lot of fresh money coming in. Tourism is always the answer to taxation as visitors pay. After awhile, the word will get out that Cottonwood has taxes that eat away at your vacation budget and the tourists will select other towns to spend their money in. Increasing the sales tax to provide amenities that are of questionable value is outright theft. If my history serves me correctly, King George had the same idea and folks had one heck of a tea party.

Lu Parker

Bridgeport

Comments

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pinonbistro 2 months ago

If you live in the area abutting Cottonwood you're getting a lot for the sales tax you pay to Cottonwood businesses. Our first responders routinely go outside the city limits. Should Cottonwood residents pay that by themselves? Ditto our transportation system which serves most of the Verde Valley. Our library serves many outside the city limits. And so does our rec center. We chose to fund all of these with sales tax instead of a city property tax because they serve many people outside the city limits who could help us pay for them. You're right you don't have to shop in Cottonwood but if you shop in Sedona, Jerome or Camp Verde you'll pay even more because their sales tax is even higher.

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MichaelMathews 2 months ago

Very good Lu. The argument that you benefit from city first responders is an incomplete argument. You pay a very large tax for your fire services and also for police. There is a mutual assistance agreement so the first responders you pay for also benefit the residents of Cottonwood. It goes both ways so that argument is a wash. Have you ever looked at the buses the city runs? How many riders do you see. That costs the city over $600,000 per year. Not to mention the much larger federal grant funds that you also pay for in your federal taxes. The disparaging comments that were made regarding the poor and our seniors were so telling of the mindset of those who wanted a tax increase. This next fiscal year you will see the tennis courts resurfaced as a reward for the raise the tax show. Michael Mathews

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pinonbistro 2 months ago

The level of vitriol and personal attacks against city staff, city council and even reporters by some was also telling of the mindset of some of those who are against a sales tax increase. It's hard to imagine having someone with that kind of attitude on city council. And for someone who can afford to play golf at high priced Sedona resorts, according to his Facebook page, complain that it is somehow inappropriate to fix the free public tennis courts that have been in disrepair for years due to the 2008 recession is also telling. Those courts are used almost exclusively by seniors on a fixed income--the very group you claim to be concerned about. And the bus system you disparage is a great boon to those who can't afford a car.

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VerdeVillage 2 months ago

Great letter, Lu. Verde Village and Bridgeport do pay alot for Verde Valley Fire District services and for Yavapai Cty. Sheriffs through our property taxes, plus Cottonwood's growing sales taxes. The mayor of Clarkdale estimated that outside residents pay about 70% of Cottonwood's sales taxes in addition to paying County property taxes. Yet Cottonwood residents refuse to pay for themselves and we are tired of hearing about it. They are NOT the victims, they are the predators of thousands of low income, fixed income and borderline homeless people who mustl pay 3.5% food tax, 3% rent tax and two-three times the cost of tap water as other cities, while the top 30 paid Cottonwood managers rake in over $100,000 a year in hefty pay with benefits (). Every year they get 3-5% across the board salary (merit) increases just for doing their jobs!

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pinonbistro 2 months ago

Sales tax receipts are a big source of revenues for most Arizona cities. Those who live in unincorporated areas are paying city sales tax if they deal with businesses in those cities. So if you shop or deal with businesses in Camp Verde, Sedona, Jerome, Prescott, Flagstaff or Phoenix you will pay a combined sales tax rate that includes that city's sales tax. Cottonwood is no different. Are you complaining to those cities that you shouldn't have to pay their sales tax? And if you live outside Cottonwood and have your own well and septic you don't pay a dime to Cottonwood for water or sewer. You have your own maintenance costs and risks. As a Cottonwood resident that has both city water and sewer I am happy to pay for these services that assure that I have a reliable source of quality water in our high desert environment. With respect to your comments about Cottonwood city staff there are 25 that get paid over $100,000. including benefits. This represents about 12% of the total city staff--so 88% are making less. Overall city salaries are in line with other comparable cities except for 4 contract employees which will be addressed.

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