Every tax is a pay cut.  Every tax cut is a pay raise.
Citizens for Limited Taxation

Trash column masks truth Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Chip Ford, Director of Operations,
Citizens for Limited Taxation, Peabody
Metrowest Daily News
In his column, "Conservatives for free trash" of Nov. 9, Rick Holmes scolds fiscal conservatives with:  "Pay-as-you-throw is an end run around Proposition 2 1/2, they cry, and it's true town officials are using it to save money in pinched budgets.

But Proposition 2 1/2 was enacted to keep the rising cost of government services from forcing outrageous increases in the property tax.  Say what you want about pay-as-you-throw, it doesn't increase property taxes."

Give him credit for struggling to obviate the simple truth:  If we allow government to take services once paid for out of property taxes to begin charging a fee for each of them, then what is the purpose of the property tax?  Where do such fees end?  And what will become the bottom-line cost for government?

"Such logic doesn't impress today's conservatives.  They want their trash picked up by big government and they want it for free," he disingenuously asserts.  But how is expecting a service historically paid for from property taxes possibly rationalized as being "for free"? Is it government's money once it passes from our hands?

If we follow Holmes' alleged logic, then soon we'll be charged fees for police and fire protection, highway maintenance -- even for the salaries of our elected officials so the property tax slush fund can just be squandered on politicians' every whimsical boondoggle.

There's a reason why it's called a property tax;  there's an expected quid pro quo implied.  The solution to his perceived problem instead is greater fiscal responsibility, not simply calling a deceptive end run around Proposition 2 1/2 a "rutabaga" when it's an increased burden on taxpayers, by any name.

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