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home : opinion : letters May 24, 2016

12/10/2013 6:00:00 AM
Letter: Never enough taxes

Just a few words on Councilwoman Cochran's plea for more taxes on the citizens of Kingman. It doesn't make any difference how much money any government entity extracts from its citizens. They'll spend it and come back for more.

When the 1 percent sales tax was implemented, the city took in more money than you could shake a stick at. Of course, it was spent. It soon went to 2 percent and now it's up to 2.5 percent.

According to Councilwoman Cochran, the city is destitute because it has 10,000 more citizens than it had in 2006. Doesn't that translate into 10,000 more citizens paying taxes?

We, the citizens of Kingman, must live within our incomes. City government should do the same. A Third World country is one in which the only good jobs are government jobs. Is that where we're heading?

Giving government more money will only get you more government, and that isn't necessarily a good thing.

Don Welks


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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Article comment by: Sales Tax Has Little to Do With Why We Don't Shop Kingman

Mr Parker a 1/10 of a percent or even a 1/2 percent tax isn't the main reason those of us have chosen to shop out of town. Here's the other reasons:
* It is Gas N Grub putting a No to Prop 8 at election time. Or other businesses that have politicized their businesses regardless of the cause, candidate, or party.
* The lack of professionalism of business owners - open at 8 but not to be found until 10 and although I have seldom come across this one - unfriendly, uncooperative employees
* Old, dirty merchandise,
* Filthy shops, dirty windows, spotted floors, etc.
* Pricing out of line - either too high or at times suspiciously too low
So seldom do we say oh, let's go to Laughlin's outlet mall because their sales tax is lower than Kingman'.

Posted: Friday, December 20, 2013
Article comment by: Amaryllis Smith

Why isn't serving on the city council, school board or even the board of supervisors considered a privilege instead of a job with pay? I served as a CASA, it was a service to the state on a local basis. It was a great experience and I will never be sorry for having apart in the adoption of two young children into a good home. It was a lot of work and out of pocket cost, some could be written off taxes but, I didn't keep track--that wasn't why I did it.
If one has an income then I truly believe you should do what you do as a service to the community. There's your tax increase answer!
Give up the salary and take perks and be Happy Happy Happy.

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: Mason Jarr

Angela Cole you should do your research before you spout off to one of Kingman's long time and quite revered local residents.

Mr. Welks has been in business in the city of Kingman and I am quite sure he knows far better than you ever will what taxes he pays to whom.

It may do you some good to show a little respect to those you know nothing about.

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Article comment by: pl .....

@OKR.....I know these things, but I still think that, from one perspective, this bears further scrutiny. I think we're talking about a greater percentage of money per citizen which the government claims to need now, not just more money as there are more citizens. Two factors which should be thoroughly understood are the larger percentage of citizens on entitlements (thus, not paying as much tax), and the sometimes-ridiculously bloated pensions of government workers - we've heard of cops, firemen, and other municipal workers ratcheting up the overtime (and cashing in sick pay & vacation pay) during the final year of employment from which pensions are often calculated. That's a lousy premise from which to soak the citizenry with higher taxes.

Posted: Monday, December 16, 2013
Article comment by: Origional Kingman Resident

"was sales tax begun, when evidently states got by without them for years?"

Bigger city due to growth, more street lights, more police, more road maintenance, the need for trash removal, the need for a fire department, the need to issue and inspect building codes and permits, and the list goes on.

As Kingman grew from a small town to a city it assumed the municipal responsibilities of a city. These services cost money.

Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013
Article comment by: we had silver coins back then, too. .....

Arizona sales tax began in 1933. The last two states to levy sales tax, both in 1967, were Minnesota and Nebraska. Generally, the sales tax began at 2%. This begs the question - why was sales tax begun, when evidently states got by without them for years? And if the tax began at 2%, tell us why they've about quadrupled since.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

"if the people who live in Kingman refuse to support the city and local businesses it is far beyond time to dissolve the city – do away with all taxes."

Says the guy who does not even live here and who's opinion is thus worthless.


Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Frances Perkins

Here you go. Taxes here ARE low! The typical property tax bill in Kingman, in total, for an owner occupied home is a few hundred either side of $1000 a year. And that is for everything including schools. In some States that is your monthly bill. The City of Kingman has some the best services for a city our size, in the whole State. The only big problem is street maintenance, which has had most of the funds swept by the State legislature, so they could claim they balanced their budget without gimmicks or tax increases. But it's OK because they push the blame for tax increases onto local governments.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Sales taxes if continually raised in a city will simply drive buyers into a neighboring city to make large purchases. This creates a tax island.”

Really? Let’s see a 1% increase would amount to a dollar on a $100 purchase. To drive to a “neighboring city” would cost how much? And the savings, if a 1% increase were approved, would amount to $1.50 on a $100 purchase (current difference is ½ of one percent. So, tell us again what it would cost to drive to a “neighboring city” to save a buck-and-a-half?

Of course Kingman is full of people who objected, loudly, when the city sales tax went down by ½ of one-percent in July. I’ve said it before – if the people who live in Kingman refuse to support the city and local businesses it is far beyond time to dissolve the city – do away with all taxes.

Posted: Thursday, December 12, 2013
Article comment by: CC DUBYA

I agree with Mr. Parker about the fraternizing thing. But, the major difference that in Kingman compared to other cities is that the elected officials don't want to jepordize the income to most of their relatives who work the local government jobs. So it's obvious Kingman is a third world city.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: mr. parker

One of the problems with elected officials is that when they are in daily contact with employees, they hate to cut expenses knowing that they might put someone they like out of a job.

Whether it's a school board or city council, elected officials have to maintain a distance from the employees who invite them to birthday and retirement parties, who show them pictures of their kids, etc. It's just like the military relationship between officers and enlisted. The elected officials don't rate salutes though.

The new city manager is from WI, I hope he doesn't do what they do in WI, where they claim taxes didn't go up but they develop revenue streams in the form of new fees.

Sales taxes if continually raised in a city will simply drive buyers into a neighboring city to make large purchases. This creates a tax island.

If you don't have a city property tax, be thankful, no matter how high it goes, it will always be spent, they will always want more. It's for the kids you know.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Everybody keeps mentioning the "poor retirees" that move here. I don't think that's true. The majority of retirees that I've met that "moved" here, are not poor at all. They just wanted to move to a better climate with a lower cost of living. Many have good pensions and investments, buy RVs and other toys, travel, eat out, bought nice homes, etc. Maybe the "poor retirees" refers to people that have lived in the area their whole lives and never got a pension or saved their money?

But then again, maybe I've just met the lucky ones.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: We have Enough Taxs

Over the last few weeks several folks have stated "Kingman needs More $$" Their answer seems to be "city property tax " Do you not understand this will just make the rental cost go up the same amount as you tax them ??Will this help the folks that rent? NO IT WON'T , if the clowns in charge would just work with in there means and STOP spending as if they had a printing press like the fools in D.C. just maybe all of us would be better off , when you keep adding more tax to EVERYTHING it's normal to spend our hard earned money some where else to save a few percent. If you buy a car in Vegas you will save several grand over the local dealers if you know how to work a deal, our local gov. seems to do this so why shouldn't the rest of us. I would feel different if the government spenders from here to D.C. had skin in the game but they seem to give themselves a pass when we get screwed !!!!

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: It's Bad Enough

I don't mind paying property taxes, but there has to be a limit. Already you have an Assessor who probably hasn't seen or even been to your property in years. How can one properly value your property from a flyover? It's ridiculous to think this process is good. Now the city wants to go in and get a cut based on faulty data. I think not!

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: janice palmer

I agree with you mr. welks. maybe some others will wake up too. say, at reelection time for the 3 city councilmen....or maybe for the same when kelli wards time is up? hmmm.

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Angela Cole

Mr. Welks,

Are you aware of what taxes you pay TO THE CITY? This letter only shows the thinking that comes out of people in Kingman. The Sales Tax was 2% for almost 20 years. I heard Mrs. Cochran speak and she stated that a property tax could lower the sales tax back to 2%. I am sure it is not just the extra people but also the price of business has gone up. I have a business in town and my costs have gone up too. Know your facts before you spout off!

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research


The real problem isn't that the county is just a tax vacuum, hoovering up all in its path, it's that the revenues from sales tax are harder to predict and more volatile than property tax.

Of course, it's politically horrible to deal with. You like to pretend that you get away with not paying taxes when it's spread out over the course of the year, but eventually there's a limit to what local businesses and customers will accept. Then you get diminishing returns.

This isn't rocket science, I don't know why no one gets this....

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Deemphasis Tourism Jobs, Emphasis Manufacturing and Industrial Jobs

Ten thousand more citizens don't translate into more taxes when the vast majority of them are either poor retirees (notorious for not spending a dime) or the poor with families on government assistance. This is the major problem - we are a poor community that just seems to attract more and more of the same.

Kingman is becoming more and more a city where the majority are either on a very fixed income, are on government assistance, or the vast majority of workers make minimum wage. No city can be a first class liveable city with that formula.

Only when the city and county leaders realize that their emphasis on tourism is hurting us and decide to put resources into attracting manufacturing and industrial jobs will this area's standard of living improve.

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

I couldn't agree more Don. Although I'm constantly referred to as a liberal by the Fox watching crowd, I too think the real problem is fraud and corruption. We pay enough taxes, they are just being wasted over and over again. What really makes me angry is they all call themselves Conservatives. The same Republican party has had the majority here in Kingman for the 20 years I've been here. So what has been conservative about how they have spent the taxes in our local area. It's disgraceful.

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

you are exactly right,
no matter what amount is collected for taxes, they (city and county) always want more.
its also obvious that money is seldom spent wisely.
the only method we the citizens have to stop wasteful spending , is to elect new people, and they quickly become no better than the previous scoundrels. so its a vicious circle, and one where the citizen seldom comes out as the winner.
I think we all are seeking the same end result, better management by city county officials.

Posted: Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

I agree Don, unfortunately people that work for a local, state or the federal government don't spend as if the money were coming out of their wallet. This is the problem, from the least responsible local government employee to the president. Would ex-mayor Salem have pushed for the sewer project to be paid strictly by the customers instead of a bond process if he were on the sewer system, probably not. Would the county BOS's have spent 40K for new SUV's a couple of years ago if they had to pay at least half, probably not. Would Obama and his wife take so many vacations if they had to pay for half the expenses, I don't think so. When the money is not yours it's hard for some to be frugal with spending.

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