Sat, Feb. 22

Letter: Taxes, taxes, taxes - you're killing us


Every level of government is set to dramatically raise taxes next year, some with voter approval and some without. The list is still developing but here is how it stands now: Cottonwood wants.8 percent Sales Tax + (?) x percent property tax claiming houses will burn and crime will rule without it.

However, city Finance Director Rudy Rodriguez revealed that the taxes are really for raising city employee pay and preventing cost cutting measures as elimination of some positions. Sounds to me like the taxes and the city they fund are by and for the employees instead of the citizens they were hired to serve.

Yavapai County deceived us when they asked for increased taxes to build the jail. They said it was a tax that would go away when the jail was paid for. Not so fast. The county then said the tax needed to continue to pay for operation of the jail. Now they need .5 percent more to operate it more?

Arizona will ask voters to approve additional .5 percent sales tax in November to build and maintain rural roads and other transportation infrastructure. The other is the secret they won't tell us about: $\billions to expand and operate the toy train (sorry, light rail system) in Phoenix and other Maricopa county road and mass transit projects.

Nationally, especially if Barrack Hussein Obama is elected, taxes will skyrocket up. He has pledged to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, plus raise dividend and capital gains taxes to 35 percent or even higher. That is an increase of 233 percent. And, not to forget, the return of 55-percent death taxes in 2011. Various organizations have priced the resulting income tax increases at about $4,000 per family per year and the capital gains and dividends taxes as ruinous to our economy.

For states like Arizona that link state income tax rates to federal rates, there is another tax increase. Think about all the retired folk who derive at least a portion of their income from 401k and corporate pensions and individual retirement savings. Where does that money earn income? Equity investments - stocks, bonds and other income producers.

I didn't even mention the onerous, and some say unconstitutional, state, county and city property taxes. However, there is a light approaching: a California-style Proposition 13 that may make the November ballot. As I understand it, it will limit total property taxes and eliminate inflation adjustments after purchase. We need that badly.

To summarize: for Cottonwood residents sales taxes look like they'll go up about 1.8 percent to 10.35 percent. So if you make $30,000 and spend $20,000 in Cottonwood, your tax burden will be about $2,000. Think about tourists changing plans to not visit our beautiful valley due to the increased costs to shop and dine. That will be bad for all of us. Your income taxes will go up about $4,000 (if we elect Obama), and smart money will flee the stock market, depressing prices and discouraging investment in dividend paying companies and the buying and selling of equities.

We must politely and resolutely, a la Boston Tea Party, express our determined opposition to these confiscatory - and economy/standard of living depressing - tax increases to all our elected servants from the bottom at city hall (who apparently run the city for the primary benefit of employees) to the top at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Talk to them and candidates who want those jobs. They have to get a grip! It's time for government to cut spending in tough times, just like you and I have to. No more taxes!

Frank Ogden


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