Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 204
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for August 28, 2003

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

Dear Editor

Is anyone surprised that the Park Board wants to raise taxes? Given the alternate choices of cutting back activities or raising user fees for those who participate in their activities, is it any wonder that they’ve chosen to ask for a sales tax to tax? That way, Warrensburg voters can be told that people who live outside the city (and who can’t vote against the tax) will pay a substantial share of it.

At the same time as the sales tax is being proposed, I see daily ads for an “Annual Block Party Day.” The Parks Department is going spend tax dollars to help people plan neighborhood parties. The expense will extend to other departments as well, with police and fire department visits and street barricades – can you say overtime? Are the citizens such children as to need government to subsidize a block party or to tell them how to run one? The folks on North Marr Drive have held their little neighborhood get-together for years and seem to get along well without government interference.

Let’s not forget how the Parks Department got into their financial bind. Warrensburg voters approved a sales tax to build the Community Center, but voted down the property tax to operate it. Since they’d made a campaign promise that use would be free, it’s been a money pit ever since. While some fees have been instituted, isn’t it about time to fully renege on that promise?

A 3/8 of 1% sales tax would raise Warrensburg’s rate to 7.6%; with the lodging tax added in, visitors to our motels would pay over 10%. Meanwhile, establishments located in rural areas of this and neighboring counties are almost 2 points lower. Non-residents are already picking up a large share of the bill for operating Warrensburg; perhaps it’s time for the city to look to its own residents to pay its bills.

For other articles involving the Park Board, especially the "Taj Mahal" community center, see Gadfly 171, Gadfly 116, Gadfly 43, Gadfly 24, Gadfly 18, Gadfly 9, and Gadfly 3.

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