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The 1% Tax Doomed to Fail if Forced on Voters

A Column by the Editor
web posted December 19, 2013

COLUMN Reality sank in at the meeting Tuesday night of the 1% sales tax commission, they have just 90 days to complete a list of projects for the estimated $7.2 million in projected revenues over 8 years and nobody has a clue what to do with the money if it is approved by the voters. That's going to be a tough sell to the taxpayers.

It's taken over a year to get the Sweetwater Community Center on track due to environmental studies, testing and other legal hurdles, and to date the cost is still unknown. How can you present hard figures on such major projects when it takes at least 3 to 6 months (being generous in time figures) to complete the required studies to be done to even estimate the costs of projects unknown?

The county (ie: County Council Chairman Dean Campbell) should drop wanting to push this on the 2014 ballot completely and allow the commission to do their job and actually study the information for the next two years and shoot for the 2016 general election in order to hold the referendum.

It is unfair to the members of the newly created commission, who are novices on even running a county meeting, to identify $7.2 million in projects and present it to the county council in 90 days. It will take them that long to figure out their roles, much less doing due diligence on their work product.

County Council Chairman Dean Campbell, who is spearheading the idea, was able to win an approval to study the idea from a skeptical majority of the council earlier this year. Trying to fast track the matter and force-feed the public on the tax is going to backfire and be yet another political loss for Campbell with a fellow Republican majority in my opinion.

Campbell pushed trying to get an incumbent protection agenda (his own) through a referendum for 4-year staggered terms at the same time which failed with his fellow Republicans voting against the idea. The measure had failed at least five times at the ballot box, the last time being only a few years ago. 

Personally, I doubt the added penny tax will ever be approved by the voters anyway. But at least give it a fair chance.

The 1% sales tax may be a positive, maybe not, but like anything else - you can do the right thing the wrong way and it is still just as bad as doing the wrong thing the right way.


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