I support taxes

I think there is very little disagreement that our national economy, if not in depression, recession or correction, is most certainly slowing down and presenting us with uncertainty as to when it will recover.

The state is experiencing an income shortfall which, as states do, pass most of the grief on to the counties and cities - especially those that are more rural and thus "less important." California has done that to their counties in the past and I'm sure that Arizona will also allow the poverty to trickle down. Therefore, this is not the time to be considering major capital expenditures involving taxes or bond issues. It is a time for Mohave County to hunker down and wait for better times.

Thus this is a good time for advanced planning of our infrastructure needs - many which were mentioned in the bond issue, which failed last November, but certainly not a time for us to increase our debt or spend money on anything not absolutely necessary to keep our cities and county functioning.

It also is probably not a good time to be raising taxes despite the fact that taxes here are comparatively low. I do believe that, especially those of us who live in Kingman, should pay for what we get rather than place the burden on everyone else.

One of my pet peeves is when a disgruntled citizen initiates a complaint to the city council by claiming to be a "taxpayer" - implying that he/she has certain rights others don't enjoy because he pays taxes to the city. The truth is that the residents of Kingman do not pay taxes to the city. They may pay taxes to the county, state and federal government, but they do not pay taxes to the city of Kingman. The city is supported by a grossly unfair sales tax on purchase of goods sold within the city limits imposed upon everyone.

Thus for example, Butler, where some members of my family live, contribute to the Kingman coffers as much or more than I do. Yet they don't get the significantly cheaper city services that I do, such as garbage collection. Certainly the people of Wikieup, Dolan Springs, Chloride, Golden Valley, along with those travelers on I-40 and US-93 pay support to the town but get nothing in return.

I feel just as strongly toward governmental debt, state, local or national, so I'm opposed to the idea of bond debt to finance infrastructure such as roads and schools. Bonds are really loans, which have to be repaid with interest to a lender (bondholder). Usually bonds are levied on property, which is taxed at a rate sufficient to not only pay off the bond, but also the interest.

To me it makes sense to pay property taxes which can be used to build infrastructure without having to pay interest and even have those saved taxes draw interest until they are used.

In comparing property taxes versus sales taxes we find that there are certain winners and losers.

• Obviously homeowners prefer a sales tax rather than a tax on their property despite the fact that they can deduct those taxes on their federal tax returns.

• Perhaps surprisingly, renters don't lose when property taxes are increased because landlords can't pass on the cost. Why? Simply because they charge as much in rent as the market can bear already. Landlords lose in many ways when their property is vacant

• Finally, we have the truth of the old saw that "the rich get richer and the poor get poorer." The overall increase in sales taxes paid as a percentage of income is higher for the average low-income family than for the average high-income household. Thus we find that sales taxes are a much greater burden on low-income families than those of us who have the luxury of living in fine homes.

My advocacy of a property tax certainly doesn't help me, especially since I'm retired on a fixed income, but it really is the only fair tax besides the income tax.

Al Gleason

Kingman