Speak Out A 05/21/02
Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Big guys pay the most
NOBODY WANTS to pay taxes, but everyone wants the benefits. Well over half the people in the United States pay no income taxes. Property taxes are being paid by fewer and fewer people. If the big guys aren't allowed to make the big bucks, who is going to pick up the declining per-capita revenue sources? In the business community, more and more goods and services are being provided by non-taxpaying entities such as municipalities, co-ops, rural electric associations, charitable marketers and income-producing church property other than offerings. A popular criticism is so-called corporate welfare. Can anyone really say that if a company pays more in taxes than it receives in tax breaks that it is getting welfare?
IN 1930, it took one year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building. Beginning in 1931, it took less than five years, start to finish, to build Hoover Dam. How long, again, does MoDOT need to add an extra lane to an existing bridge in 2002?
I HAVE about as much sympathy for the people in Dutchtown as I do the ones who live in Commerce. How many thousands or millions of dollars and hundreds of man-hours have been used trying to save a very few houses of people who didn't have enough sense to leave the first time it flooded. How many times does it take? To top it off, the Corps of Engineers and MoDOT have created a nightmare for the entire region with their poor planning and misplaced priorities. Why do you create such a mess to save 10 houses and a gas station? Instead of building a levy down the middle of the road, they should have thought about how to keep the roads open. Let people in Dutchtown take care of their own mess.
TIF is inequitable
IF THERE was ever a program specifically designed to cause the teeming masses of the poor to sink even deeper into poverty, it is the outrageous, inequality-perpetuating program described in the Southeast Missourian by the innocent sounding acronym: TIF. A more accurate acronym would be IFF: Increasing Inequality Further. We should stiff TIF.
Learn the lesson
I SEE all the people going on TV and asking for volunteers to help sandbag around their houses to keep the floods back. Here's an idea: ask for volunteers to come help you pack up your stuff so you can move to a place where you don't have to do this every year. If you know it's going to happen but stay anyway, it's your own fault for not learning a lesson the first time.
THE UNIVERSITY of Missouri has an operating budget of $l.8 billion and is confused about where to cut spending? Maybe if it tried to use just a few of the management principles taught in the school of business, the university could figure out savings of a million here and a million there. As always, they will take the easy way" the no-brainer method of raising tuition and fees.
Stop TIF idea
WE BUILT a home in Cape Girardeau four years ago. About the same time, my employer built an office building here. We're both paying our full share of real estate taxes. Neither my employer nor I received property-tax abatement. The subdivision owner adjoining the newly constructed Dalhousie golf course is requesting from the city council substantial relief in property taxes through a device called tax increment financing. This would be an extremely bad precedent to start. The city council should reject this proposal without delay. Lot purchasers in this exclusive subdivision can afford to pay a little extra to cover the cost of the streets and sewers. If the subdivision can't be built without government assistance, so be it.
I AGREE wholeheartedly with your editorial view that the growth of non-Christian religions in the United States is a positive trend and congratulate you on your correct, if belated, recognition of the value of multicultural diversity.