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Some federal officials are having a difficult time understanding the concept, perhaps because they spend way too much time with other bureaucrats and too little with the people who actually pay their salaries — but city and county officials around the nation are experiencing the best success in selling taxpayers on the need to spend.
It is being determined that at the same time taxpayers are making it clear to state and federal officials that the gravy train has reached the last station, they continue to fund local projects.
In part, the experts suggest, because the local officials take the effort to explain how the tax dollars will be used, and then they are better at making sure that taxpayers see something for their money.
“In Arkansas, 16 communities have brought sales tax proposals to their voters so far this year, and 14 have passed. Several other cities have tax hikes in the works. That’s more proposals and a better success rate and anyone can remember in a long time,” according to a recent Associated Press report.
“The measures have gone to pay for police salaries, a new fire station, parks and community centers. Little Rock city leaders even sold the idea of a new $6 million fund to recruit businesses.”
Again, the reason for the success of these movements is that the people paying the bill knew what they were paying for.
It’s not that Americans are dead set against paying their bills.
They are just fed up paying for deadbeat bureaucrats who think they are too good to explain to us peasants how our money — OUR MONEY — is being spent.
“At very least, states have to do a better job of showing voters exactly what they will get for their money, according to some tax experts. And, beyond that, officials may have to get creative about funding, including perhaps paying for more at the local level where voters are more accepting,” the AP story noted. And the issue is even more relevant at the federal level.
Sadly, at each of these levels there are more and more regulatory layers, which insulate the bureaucrats from the people paying them. So, it’s going to take a lot of effort for taxpayers to get the point across.
Frankly, it’s going to take a house cleaning, because the current crop of office-holders are sold on the perks they thrive upon.
Local officials have long since learned, and are still finding out, what taxpayers are willing to accept. They also have an appreciation for the accountability that is expected if they are going to get deeper into taxpayers’ pockets.
“The National League of Cities reported last week that more than half of cities surveyed reported being less able to meet fiscal needs now than in 2010. It wasn’t known how many would try to hike taxes to make up the difference.”
That just shows that the accountability is going to have to become even more apparent.
Now if only our “higher” levels of government could get the message.
— Chuck Smith