Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 114
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for November 22, 2001

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

The timing of my letter last week was fortuitous – the tax bills have just arrived, with some substantial increases. I’ll be paying the tax person almost $300 more than last year. In my case, there were four causes for the increase.

  1. I bought a used car and personal property tax more than doubled. When deciding how to vote, people seldom consider that personal property tax will increase; anyone who registers a vehicle has to provide proof of payment to get a license.
  2. It appears that the Warrensburg R-VI school district quietly used some of its additional tax rollback waiver (the blank check voted a couple of years ago). Overall, their share of my money increased by almost 7%.
  3. The voter-approved increase in the Fire District levy doubled, making their share second only to the R-VI and ahead of Roads and Bridges, the Library, the Hospital, Sheltered Workshop and County Health. However, this increase is supposed to provide increased fire protection.
  4. Reassessment overall appears to have increased my taxes about 4%.

My point is that we’ll be facing several tax issue elections in the near future. In each case, we’ll be told that it’s for “betterment of the community.” I’m going to calculate what each tax is likely to cost and I expect the promoters of each tax to furnish detailed proof of the value they’re going to provide for the money.

If the backers of the ambulance district even expect to get the chance to prove their value (i.e., on the ballot), they need to be more aggressive in gathering signatures on their petition. Perhaps a political party that regularly uses Social Security to scare the residents of our care facilities could gather lots of signatures using similar tactics.

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