Speak Up! - 03/06/06

Letters to the Editor

County shouldn’t tax us out of our homes

“Officials concerned about tax revolt” was the headline in the Daily Miner on Feb. 17. I didn’t think I would live long enough to witness two tax revolts and be involved in them. In the not-too-distant future, I hear gnashing of teeth, wails of doom and disasters unimaginable if a tax revolt was successful. I have heard it all before when Prop. 13 was passed in the state of California.

Jerry Brown was governor of the state then, and according to him and all other state and local officials who were feeding at the public trough, there would be no state police, schools would have to double up, no fire protection, and in general, complete catastrophe. It never happened.

It is already starting now with County Manager Ron Walker stating, “that most people don’t understand.” Well, what we do understand Mr. Walker is that even though the tax rate has remained the same, the assessed value has increased tremendously, resulting in a lot more money going into the county treasury. I suppose that is the reason you were able to give Wal-Mart a waiver on the fees that should have been collected upon approval of the new distribution center, even though they didn’t ask for a waiver, as stated by Buster Johnson, county supervisor.

Mr. Walker, I would like you to define for me “a house that is too large for their needs.” In other words, we are going to tax you out of your home, and you have the option of selling, even if you don’t want to, and buying a smaller place. Not here. Somewhere else.

Last year you bragged about holding the tax rate the same as the year before. Big deal! We had a 10-percent increase in revenue, from increased property taxes. Where did that money go? Mr. Walker, you state that the “County needs protection against the growing cost.” We, on fixed income, need protection from the county, as we don’t have a six-figure income like you.

George Foschaar

Kingman

Eliminate the middleman, hire direct

It is my opinion that the Miner should have a column entitled “The Devil’s Advocate” or something equivalent, taking issue with an expressed opinion, an accepted practice, or just an item in the news that rouses the advocate’s ire.

For instance, when did we become a government by consultant? I cannot think of one issue of any importance, either city or county, that was resolved by elected officials.

Instead, hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent to arrive at a conclusion that I, as an inexperienced layman, would have given them for free.

If we are going to be controlled by “consultants,” then I suggest we eliminate the middlemen (elected officials) and just have the city manager hire them direct.

And another thing, why can I go to any MacDonalds in Cincinnati and get their #4 breakfast for a few cents over $3 (tax included) when the same thing here in Kingman is over $5 with tax? And don’t tell me it’s the cost of living.

I’ll wager the average income in Cincinnati is considerably more than in Kingman.

While we’re at it, why don’t you interview some of the larger car dealers here (or anywhere else) and have them explain for me just what are “documentation fees?” Since the purchaser is already paying, as separate items, tax, title and license, just what is left to document?

And why does it cost more to document a new car, sometimes several hundred dollars, than it does to document a bucket of bolts?

I think you’re missing a bet by not providing a platform for discussion of items such as this that pop up every day.

Or designate a member of your staff to respond to such questions and solicit them from your readers. I have dozens more. The eloquent Mr. Jim Hinckley would be an ideal moderator.

Herb Masters

Golden Valley