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My Way

Gazelles can't vote on whether they're eaten, but taxpayers can

May 07, 2014 - I'm afraid to take out my wallet in public these days with so many local government officials casting covetous eyes upon my hard-earned dollars.

It seems like everybody and his brother is asking for either a tax increase or a new tax on the August and November ballots.

We the taxpayers are much like gazelles being surrounded by salivating, toothy predators looking to fatten themselves at our expense.

The difference is the gazelle doesn't get a vote when it comes to whether or not it's eaten – we do.

Ah, the advantages of having thumbs and the ability to reason.

Almost every government entity and agency believes they're a necessity and the center of the universe, therefore whatever they desire, we should just give it to them and be grateful little lemmings.

But those of us who dwell in the real world know that's simply not true.

Government provides both necessities and luxuries to citizens.

The trick is being able to cut through all the feel-good malarkey and distinguish between the two.

Separating the two largely depends on a person's value system and priorities.

For instance, to me, extinguishing house fires and transporting the most vulnerable people in our community – senior citizens and the disabled – to doctor appointments and grocery stores are necessities. I'm happy to pay for those services within reason.

On the other hand, giving folks something to do in their spare time or helping them pursue their hobbies is a luxury.

I don't believe it's government's job to keep people entertained or physically fit and I certainly don't believe it's my job to pay for it, so I vote against those taxes.

Contrary to what some believe, I'm not anti-tax. I'm anti-excessive taxes. I'm anti-unnecessary taxes. I'm anti-stupid taxes.

The surest way to kill a community is to overtax it. High tax bills can force existing residents out of their homes and scare away potential new ones. They can hurt businesses and lead to empty storefronts and factories.

More taxes don't create better communities. More taxes don't lead to prosperity.

All more taxes do is create poorer citizens.

The siren song that says, "If you build it, they will come" is powerful to government folks when they're asking for more of our money.

Equally powerful should be the warning, "If you tax them, they will leave."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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