It passed?! Proposition 421 actually passed?! Color me disgusted. The fact that this tax-grab passed is appalling. It makes me wonder what percentage of voters in Navajo County get their paycheck from some branch of the government. If you can find that statistic, let me know.

Had Prop 421 been to raise salaries and fund pensions for beat cops, I’d have been all in, but the spread is far wider than that.

Let me ‘splain.

Public service, public sector, public employee, all of these terms mean that you are paying all of the costs involved in the administration of services with your tax dollars.

If you own a private sector business, the bottom line dictates how large a facility you can afford and what you can pay your staff while still turning a profit. In the public sector, federal, state, local or tribal governments, there IS no bottom line because there IS no profit. And no accountability.

In government contracts, the budget for a particular job is viewed as a suggestion. No one is going to lose their job if it goes over-budget. In most instances, government employees are actually disincentivized to save (your) money because they’ll get a smaller chunk next year if they don’t spend every cent this year. There are no consequences to spending more money than they have because there’s always more of it. Where does this endless supply of greenbacks come from?

You and me. We’re the ones who pay for mismanagement of funds that would be a firing offense in the private sector. Many public employees do a great job, and we certainly need public services. But with no ‘off’ button on the money spigot, it’s too easy to get sloppy in spending other people’s money. Public agencies at all levels of government HAVE the money, but it’s easier to go get more of it than to make some cuts and manage it responsibly.

Every Congressman collecting (or planning to collect after five years of ‘service’) a pension and every guy swinging a shovel in a pie-in-the-sky building project for a municipality is collecting his money from you and me. The taxpayer is paying for it all.

But if you’re not paying taxes, who cares, right? Combined, the top 50 percent of earners are responsible for over 90 percent federal income taxes collected. What does it take to be in this elite, high-dollar group? An AGI of over $40K. Doesn’t that make you feel special?

The other half of federal tax filers pay just 3 percent of the federal hit. We all pay local sales, property and other assorted taxes and I’d guess that the percentages are roughly the same.

Until there’s some accountability in government spending, taxes will keep going up and we’ll keep getting less bang for our buck. A general rule of thumb is: if it makes it to the ballot, it’ll cost you money.

(Footnote: My sources for this article’s statistics were kiplinger.com and census.gov.)

Leslie Baker is a native Arizonian who retired from the construction and real estate industries. She volunteered for over 20 years with various Hospice organizations. She and her husband live in Linden.

Leslie Baker is a native Arizonian who retired from the construction and real estate industries. She volunteered for over 20 years with various Hospice organizations. She and her husband live in Linden.

(5) comments

citizen lakeside

Yes it is a shame that prop 421 passed, I would like to know where all the advertising money for this came from. I couldn't go on the internet and not see the ads for this prop. Once this passed it will be just like Pinetop, It will never go away.


2rusty

That's a great point, Citizen!


TN4994

Anyone care to define the term "Temporary Tax"?


2rusty

Another good point, TN. Taxes are forever.


ronzim

Leslie: I fail to see how anything can be labeled a "tax grab" when it passed by a two-to-one margin? The vast majority of the voters wanted to impose this tax. You say "In the public sector, federal, state, local or tribal governments, there IS no bottom line because there IS no profit. And no accountability." Is there a point there? You are stating the obvious that governments do not make profits; however, that does not mean there are no limits. Nearly all states have some form of balanced budget imperatives. Constraints on the federal government are imposed by those whom voters send to congress. When state and local budgets prove insufficient to meet operational expenses, government administrators are forced to curtail expenditures or ask for more money. They cannot exceed their budgets, by law. Only the federal government can do that.



Moreover, it is an old canard that government managers must spend all of the budget or risk losing ground the following year. Please cite the governments who impose that fictional constraint. I agree that we voters must always hold our public servants to account; however, deficits are occurring at the federal level because the congress does not appropriate enough money to cover the annual expenditures they approve. What they approve is, of course, open to discussion. What is it that you wish to cut?


Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.