At first blush, it would seem that the national story out of Alabama this week would be one of those to rankle everyone who is sick of higher taxes — and in this day, that would be everyone.
But that would be at first blush only.
What the story actually details is how local taxes accomplish something, other than just funding another office building filled with government regulators, whom we pay to make our lives more difficult.
The story from Alabama explained that, though “the last of the more than 60,000 Confederate veterans who came home to Alabama after the Civil War died generations ago, yet residents are still paying a tax that supported the neediest among them.
It added that “officials never stopped collecting a property tax that once funded the Alabama Confederate Soldiers’ Home, which closed 72 years ago. The tax now pays for Confederate Memorial Park, which sits on the same 102-acre tract where elderly veterans used to stroll.”
“‘It’s a beautifully maintained park. It’s one of the best because of the funding source,’ said Clara Nobles of the Alabama Historical Commission, which oversees Confederate Memorial Park.”
Of course there are those, especially in this era of political correctness and budget cutting, who want to see the funding cut, and, frankly, that is up to the taxpayers of Alabama — or at least it would be in a truly American system of government.
In what we generally confront today, there will probably be some hired regulator or political appointee who will make the choice.
The reason so many people in Dixie aren’t concerned about still paying this tax is pretty simple, and not nearly as ominous as some might suggest.
It is because a lot of people who are familiar with small-town America don’t mind paying for parks.
The enjoyment of a well-maintained park is part of our culture.
It goes back to Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C., perhaps, but it is certainly well-established in the cultural heritage of rural communities to appreciate a formal, well manicured public area where people can collect their thoughts, gather to visit, or just enjoy the outdoors, when the weather allows.
It is sad that there are those who would deprive people of that beauty, while we continue to pay for so many mean-spirited public movements that make our lives less pleasant.
And it is really sad that there continue to be those who try to politicize something as uplifting as a pretty public park.
The truth is, we’d a whole lot rather enjoy a public park than another federal office building.
— Chuck Smith