Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Spectrum: A prescription for saving money

An article published today confirms my statement of yesterday that the prescription drug program does not cost the county money and, therefore, does not belong in the column justifying a tax increase.
"There's absolutely no cost to the taxpayers at all."
--Alan Gardner
I'm just saying that when you look at all the small pieces of the proposed tax increase they do not justify an increase. Again, Federal programs, Volunteer work, and duplicate services do not justify a tax increase.

When you take a broader view of the proposal it is socialistic, and unnecessary.

The Spectrum: A prescription for saving money

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The shirt off our backs

I was having a conversation with some folks last night who were trying to describe the charitable character of their father (now deceased).

"He would have given you the shirt off your back."

That slip of the tongue caused some laughter, but on second inspection it is a universally true aspect of socialism.

The socialist will take from one party and give to another. They would argue that to have the everyday man do such a thing would be a crime, but to have the same act perpetrated by the government is not. Why?

Because those in the government cannot commit crime? Because of the rubber-stamp that is embossed with the word "law"?

This is a perversion of the law.

Those arguing in favor of the Senior Citizen tax are raising the socialist banner.

There is an alternative. Proponents of the tax increase would say that there is no other way. The director of the Davis County Health Department, Lewis Garrett says there is a "shortage" in these services. Here a a few examples where that statement is wrong, yet these are touted(pdf) as areas that will be covered by the tax increase.
  • Prescription Drug Cards --Our cost for participation in this program is paid out of existing funds. Does the cost for these cards increase with our population? No. This program was piloted in Davis County under the direction of Dannie McConkie, and he has assured us that it is free, except for our membership dues to the National Association of Counties. Why should our membership dues increase with a natural growth in our aged population?
  • Senior Employment --No assessment has been made to determine whether more funds are required for this activity. Which of the growing Senior population will desire employment. Which will need it?
  • Aging Waiver is a program administered to those who meet existing Medicare guidelines. --This means it is federally funded. No local tax increase is required.
  • Title V --Again is Federally funded as per the CARE Act. No local dollars are required.
  • Volunteer Opportunities --They must be joking. Volunteers will continue to not be paid despite the growth of the aging population.
I could go on, but why should I? The argument that I'm making is sound, and is fully illustrated by these examples.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is Tax deferral wise?

The suggestion is floating around the legislature that Senior Citizens over the age of 65 should be 'allowed' to defer their property taxes until they move or die. When paid, the taxes would have interest added.

Citizens for Tax has made an effort to expose the fallacies inherent in the defered-tax proposal. It reminds me of an experiment, often perpetuated on children, in which they are offered fifty cents now, or five dollars later.

The children, unwisely, choose the fifty cents.

Flood control foresight

I remember a conversation that I had in May, 2005 with Steve Rawlings. He intimated that the County owned land, purchased subsequent to the 1983 floods, to allow for natural run-off. If Rawlings were to have his way much of this land would be sold, to developers, for revenue for the County.

I don't know how much land has been sold, and what pressure has been placed on the flood-control infrastructure? Where have the revenues gone from these sales? Should they have gone towards the repairs that now require 1.5 Million per year?

Now we're faced with the prospect of a tax increase for flood control, and I wonder if Rawlings was wise to encourage the sale of land, while ignoring the protection against flooding that these lands represent.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Selling a tax increase: Behind the curtain

The Davis County Commission is concerned about the proposed tax increase. They're worried that we might not like it. They're probably worried that we don't trust them.

I have some good evidence to support this claim.

Could it be because two out of three commissioners are out-a-here come January?

Not really, although that is true.

Now, this next part is going to sound pedantic at first. Stay with me.

Davis County's website it touting one page among its most "popular" links. That is supposed to mean, I think, that a lot of people have clicked on this link. Frankly, the County wanted this particular link to be popular. It was strategically placed so to influence a decision that will be ours to make. It's sitting out, in full view, in the middle of the page. You know, so people will click on it.

Let's break down this page into its most basic elements.

Its title is: " Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting (PDF)

That sounds innocuous enough. Impressive, actually.

Now the rub.

The URL, (that's the location of the file), for the page exposes the Commissions real intent. Here it is.

Did you see that? (I tried to make it obvious by making it bold) It's in a folder called "tax_increase". Someone must think that this particular document will influence the citizens of this county to vote for a tax increase.

The reality is that this certificate has nothing to do with whether this particular tax increase is
good or bad. It has everything to do with how good Steve Rawlings is at his job.

Where would our Commissioners be without Rawlings?

Monday, November 20, 2006

This is NOT a hard pill to swallow...

My property taxes going down.

Vitamin firm expands in North Salt Lake

Monday, September 25, 2006

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner: Group says Bountiful broke promise in raising taxes for Rec Center

Ronald Mortenson is in the news again. This time, addressing the fact that the property tax increase, related to the Rec Center, is 33 percent higher than advertised in the voter information pamphlet.

I've made my admiration of Mortenson no secret. I have no idea how someone that spends as much time, as he does, out of the Country doing serious work in places like Iraq and Sudan (and soon Pakistan)-- can have the fortitude to do so much here.

Yet, Mayor Johnson has had the gall to challenge Mortenson's positive impact on the community.

And that Steve Rawlins should say, 'Mortenson is the only resident that has complained to him', should put the rest of us to shame.



It has been a while since has been updated, but I have been checking it religiously for information since January. Today, I noticed that a much neglected topic of power rate hikes were being addressed. Ron Mortenson had mentioned this to me months ago as a topic on which I might blog and, to be frank, I couldn't dig up enough dirt myself to justify a post. (However, the dirt was there.) Fortunately, I've been saved the trouble of having to do some detective work of my own. Shame on me for not trying hard enough.

Wrap your mind around this concept. Other tax policy organizations have addressed the problems inherent in hiding a tax via clever bookkeeping practices. Bountiful is doing just that. By moving money from the Power fund into the General fund, on a regular basis, they create a shortfall of funds needed to generate and maintain power within the city. As a result, a need is, artificially, created for more money to be put into the Power fund. Power rates get increased, and a hidden tax is born. This money in the General fund,(this is sometimes called laundering), goes to other unrelated projects.

Who gets hurt by this practice? Broad answer: Anyone that stands to lose from an unaccountable government. In short: Everyone.


StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Tax group waiting for response to Aug. 2004 complaint

Thom Roberts has taken the blame for letting a year pass without responding to allegations of a tainted election in Davis County. He has not said what his response may be. We can guess. If I may be allowed to paraphrase my prediction.


Thank you for your letter...however, we see no evidence of wrongdoing as your election happened almost a year ago...We've talked to Bountiful City officials and they assure us that nothing is amiss. Oh, and Tom Hardy asked me to tell you not to send him any more letters.

Good luck in your efforts to re-elect Joe Johnson!"

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:Tax group waiting for response to Aug. 2004 complaint

W. Bountiful questions hike for rec center

The Recreation Center, to be built in Bountiful, is costing one million over the amount of the Bond. Bountiful has offered to pay the million now if the other cities will pay them back. (Where in Bountiful's budget do they have that much money lying around-unallocated?) West Bountiful has questioned why the additional 5-6 percent cost is there? A full board was not present at the last meeting so a decision on the matter has been postponed. When will the Recreation District ratchet up the price-tag again?

W. Bountiful questions hike for rec center

SLJPP: Testimony on Tax Reform.

The Sutherland Institute president, Paul T. Mero, has testified before the Tax commission and proposed that any tax reform we have should have the family as it's core value. He proposed that there are five things that can be seen as the center point on which any public policy is built.
"Every public policy has a center point, or core, toward which a policy’s application is
directed by certain underlying assumptions. Historically, competition for this center or core
has been among five institutions: the individual, the family, the corporation, the church,
and the state…These [five] center points are at the heart of all public policies."
Mero says Governor Walkers 'balanced system' is centered in the State. Without saying so explicitly he alluded that Governor Huntsman has chosen to place the corporation at the center. Libertarians will place the individual at the center.

He goes on to say that, by placing the family at the center, all of these other values are benefited. Public policy has a tendency to focus on dysfunction in families, rather than what works. It can suffer from a myopic view that misses the broad scope and the long picture. A public policy centered on families should place it's focus on rewarding the ideal family, not the imperfect family. He suggests that taxes should be taken from income, and moved to tax consumption. Exceptions for food could be made so that a family is not made to go hungry.

He also suggests that we move education funding to sales tax.
"By linking the state income tax to public schools, as we have for nearly sixty years, we have created ugly
and unfortunate policy trade-offs. I believe this well-intended, but short-sighted, legacy has done more
than any other single policy to antiquate our tax code. Moreover, we are forced to choose between
education funding and any incentives that require an income tax credit, deduction, or exemption. It is
unnecessary and avoidable."
Tax reform(PDF)

Americans for Prosperity - Taxes: Analysis of TABOR

I've posted on this idea to limit government that is on a ballot in Colorado here. Dr. Barry Poulson at has written a good explanation of it's benefits.

Americans for Prosperity - Taxes

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:New tax approved to fund south Davis rec center operations

As covered on this blog previously Tom Hardy, 'unpaid consultant' for the Recreational District, wanted to charge for maintainance of the Rec Center before it is built. The Recreational District just approved a tax increase that will do just that! The tax goes into effect a full year before the facility will open.

StandardNET/Standard-Examiner:New tax approved to fund south Davis rec center operations

The Tax Foundation - The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR): The Cure for "Rachet Up"

TABOR is an interesting concept. I don't think any reasonable person thinks we ought to completely eliminate governement revenue but, TABOR says, that any increase greater than the population increase plus inflation is too much.

The Tax Foundation - Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR): The Cure for "Ratchet Up"

Dynamic Range

John Dougall has a new blog called Dynamic Range that I like a great deal. In particular, note his recent post on recomendations given to the Tax reform commitee that was recently formed by the Legislature.

The Tax Foundation - The Flat Tax Debate Rages in Utah

The Tax Foundation has their eyes on Utah, and included the LDS church's statement on tax reform in their piece.
"The state tax system should continue to provide tax deductions for charitable giving—including religious contributions. Charitable contributions help provide for society's poor and needy, education and the arts, and other important social needs."
The Tax Foundation - Flat Tax Debate Rages in Utah

Tax Foundation: Tax Policy Blog

Check out the Tax Policy Blog. They also have an RSS feed, and links to well written analysis of Tax Policies across the country. Research areas include Social Security Reform, State Taxes and spending, and Utah

Citizens for Tax Fairness

I created this blog as a way to publicize issues, pertinent to residents of South Davis County, that have been swept under the rug. The opinions expressed, are my own, but the site is open to public comment. So, if you reside in my County, weigh in!

I'm providing a link to an organization, of which I play a small, fly on the wall, part. They've actually saved the County substantial amounts of money.

Citizens For Tax Fairness

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.