Monday, October 08, 2007

Do tax dollars disappear into a black hole?

This is an interesting idea that might be worth taking a look at here in Michigan. From Democracy for Utah:

Utah cities to emphasize the services you get for your tax dollars
The Utah League of Cities and Towns has started a new marketing campaign called "Making Life Better" (brought to you by the same folks who did Utah's "Life, Elevated" tourism slogan) to highlight the services that cities provide (Deseret News):
The league has commissioned eight years of surveys that show Utahns incorrectly believe their hometowns collect a large portion of their taxes but provide few services. [...]

As league policy analyst Neil Abercrombie introduced the statistics from the latest survey done by Dan Jones & Associates, he said, "I'm not going to say people are clueless. Let's just say they're less than knowledgeable about who provides city services."

For example, the survey asked residents whether they had used a municipal service in the past 24 hours.

Sixty percent said yes, but only 15 percent of those said they used a city-maintained street that day, and just 11 percent said they used city-provided electricity and sewer services.
Republicans have done their best to convince people that their tax money just goes into a big black hole. Who would've thought that, in Republican Utah, city governments would want to promote the fact that they provide a lot of services for your tax dollar. [emphasis mine]
According to the Deseret News, the campaign is expected to improve the perception of cities and towns by making it clearer exactly what services are provided with those tax dollars. I think that's a great idea, particularly after reading only 11 percent of Utahns said they used city provided electricity and sewer services! What are they using, candles and outhouses?

For the record, I have a feeling Michigan's residents don't fully comprehend what services they get for their tax dollars either - from the state level on down.

3 comments:

WCTaxpayers said...

Your wrong. We are fully aware that we do not have a bare bone budget in Michigan. We also are aware that the taxpayers have a budget of their own that they must consider.

How is it that you are so enlightened and we are not. If we are uninformed, then before you take more money from us - explain it. If you already know the answers there is no need to hire someone to do a study. My guess is that you are just repeating something your have heard. You all have the same talking points.

I am sure you would have been embarassed at the Boston Tea Party as well. You liberals are so condisending.

abi said...

What carping gibberish, wctaxpayers.

How can you say "explain it" - meaning publicize the benefits and services you get through taxes - and in the next sentence say there's no need to hire anyone to do it? Oh, yeah, because hiring someone to do the work would require, you should pardon the expression, spending tax dollars. You'd rather have Kathy take on the job for free.

And that sums up your position - you want services, but you don't want to pay for them.

Your organization's goal of transparency in taxation is one most of us agree with. But somehow I think what you really mean by that is this, from the WCTA web site:

Are you willing to sign a petition to Recall your legislators if they vote for a tax increase?

That's your real position, isn't it? No more taxes, no matter what the need. Very responsible.

And by the way, you either have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about, or you're deliberately distorting it. The issue was taxation without representation.

Kathy said...

WC, thanks for the comment and opinion.

Abi, well said. You did a great job of highlighting the real issue. We all want services, but some of us aren't willing to pay for them. The mindset is similar to those hawks who are more than willing to send our soldiers to die in Iraq, but they would never sacrifice to serve their country.