[Vision2020] Taxpayer Rights

keely emerinemix kjajmix1 at msn.com
Fri May 11 07:40:40 PDT 2007

Excellent points, Paul -- and I'd remind everyone, Donovan particularly, that MSD and all of the other school districts in the state are dependent on property taxes because this is how the legislature decides to fund schools.  The idea that MSD is a rogue district flying in the face of law, common sense, and Donovan's sensibilities is ludicrous.  Having been part of crafting a bond election, I can attest to how much legal precedent, state law, and vetting occurs.  That's why the idea of a "stealth levy" is silly, and the idea that MSD circumvented the law in putting together theirs even more so.As Paul said, we are a community and we all benefit from strong, well-funded schools, just as we're all going to be hurt by Weitz's actions.keelyDate: Thu, 10 May 2007 22:27:45 -0700From: godshatter at yahoo.comTo: vision2020 at moscow.comSubject: Re: [Vision2020] Taxpayer Rights


Donovan Arnold wrote:

  The Wietz lawsuit raises some important questions in my mind,
particularly regarding taxpayers and their rights. 
  Is it fair, first off, to have a vote to pay taxes for an
indefinite amount of time? Seems rather unfair, voting to tax people in
the future that have not been given the right to decide what tax level
they feel is fair. Being told, "People in the past already voted and so
you don't get to decide, ever, unless of course you want to raise the
tax rate."--hardly seems reasonable to me.

These new people would be people that have moved into the area, right? 
Is it fair for them to say "I wasn't here to vote for the taxes in this
county, I shouldn't be required to pay them?" 

  Second, at what point is the minority tax payer able to rebel
against the taxes levied upon him/her by the majority? What rights do
they have to protect them from out right exploitation and thievery by
the tax levying democratic majority?

The "minority tax payer" voted against the tax and lost.  Sucks to be
them.  I feel their pain - I voted against our current President twice
and lost both times.  However, I don't see how they could argue that
since they voted against the tax but lost that they shouldn't be
obligated to pay it.  There is always a winner and a loser.  A system
where only the winners have to abide by the rules they voted on would
obviously not work.  You might as well just skip straight to anarchy.

  Third, are property taxes even fair or just? Taxing people on
where they live, even knocking those on fixed incomes right outta their

This one I'm not so sure about.  I think the reasoning is that the
property owners have a fixed stake in the area and are therefore less

  Finally, placing the entire burden of running schools,
the largest expense, squarely on the back of property owners seems
rather harsh, is not greatly unjust. 
  What do you think? Am I wrong to think that there should be some
limits placed on what the democratic majority can do to the minority
taxpayer that just feels completely robbed and stripped of the fruits
of their hard labor? Is it possible Gerry Wietz and other feel the same

I don't know how Gerry Wietz feels, but he's perfectly capable of
telling us if he felt we ought to know.  I'm also quite sure that the
entire burden is not on the backs of the property owners.  However, I
think you're looking at the whole tax thing from the wrong angle.  We
aren't a bunch of individual islands here, we are a community.  We
don't just happen to live near each other - we depend upon each other. 
We have decided to gather our resources and, instead of simply doing
what we want with our own resources, we have decided to give a portion
of them to a central group that uses those resources for the betterment
of the community.  Instead of every person having to find a way to get
water to their dwellings, we have a system that everyone chips in to
pay for that provides that water (at least where we are clustered
closest together).  Instead of each person hacking a path through the
woods to get where they want to go, we pool resources to provide common
paths that are much finer than most of us could provide on our own. 
Instead of each person having to educate their kids individually,
without other resources, we provide a central place where professionals
in the field of education can teach our children.  These centers of
education also gain knowledge on their own (at least at higher levels),
and give it back to the greater community.  I don't have to come up
with the best way to purify water or to grow crops or to fight disease
on my own - I can gain from the knowledge that others have provided and
the experiments they have performed instead of having to reinvent it
all on my own.

Yes, taxes can be hard on the poor.  But so is living on your own
without the benefits of society.  The poor rely upon the largess of the
more wealthy - without it, they wouldn't be poor they would be
statistics.  The richest few can afford to run their own water mains,
build their own roads, pay our best and brightest to educate their
kids, and fund their own research and keep it to themselves.  It's the
poor that benefit the most from the pooling of resources, so why
shouldn't they give what resources they are able to give?

The problems come in when you have more than one idea about how to
educate our kids, where best to use our pooled resources, etc, etc. 
The simplest and somewhat intuitive way is to simply ask everybody and
see if there is a consensus.  However, I don't see how someone who
voted in the minority can think they have the right to stop giving
resources to the pool and still use the water that is pumped to them,
drive on the roads, send their kids to school, and use the knowledge
others have gained.  I guess if the minority tax payer feels completely
robbed, then they can simply wander off into the woods and survive as
they may.  If they don't think that this whole pooling of resources
thing is working out, then they can eschew all the benefits of it and
do as they please.

Being somewhat of a liberal and living in this neocon country, I've
lost more elections than I've won.  However, I'm still benefiting from
our society and it's resources.


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