Homer Alaska - Letters

Story last updated at 2:36 PM on Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Voters know what they're doing




In the borough elections October of this year, the assembly has voted to place before the public some referendums of particular concern. One involves a sales tax increase of .1 percent, and the other will once again test the resolve of the community to exempt non-prepared food items from sales tax on a seasonal basis.

Why is the borough seeking to raise the tax .1 percent? They say it's in the name of economic development. Why are we earmarking sales tax money for economic development when most of us are just doing what we can to keep our heads above water? Have they heard that there is no recovery? How about letting us keep our .1 percent for our own personal economic development rather than give it to the borough?

They knew that they couldn't raise it a full percentage point the voters would vote that down. They couldn't once again try writing the proposal with questionable phrasing, like they did last time to raise the borough sales tax to 3 percent, because the people are paying too much attention now. So they figured they would attack the tax fractionally. This new approach will cause havoc for business owners. But why not attack them, not to mention all the constituents who will pay this fractional tax? Why should they attempt to keep business owners happy? After all, the businesses are the ones that collect the tax for them.

Then, regarding the sales tax on non-prepared food items, the assembly wants to see the public vote to release the exemption so that everyone pays tax on food all year round. I think paying tax on any non-prepared food items any time of the year is a bad idea, and how many times do we have tell them this?

Then, they are once again trying to test the law confining candidates to two terms. Supposedly, the assembly has redefined the word "term" to allow Bill Smith to run, and this was done without consulting the voters. (How did you like his Point of View article in the Aug. 18 issue of this paper? In it he said, "It was right for the assembly to modify the result of a voter-approved initiative when, in assembly members' judgment, modification was needed to best conduct the business of the borough.") This is arrogant manipulation at the hands of an assembly that professes to know better what the people really want and placing themselves in a dictatorial position over the contemptible voters they supposedly represent.

Let's tell the assembly that we prefer our definition of the word "term," do not want to repeal the sales tax exemption of non-prepared food items and do not want to raise the sales tax.

Do you see anything other than tax, spend and manipulate from this bunch? We must all act like Jimmy Stewart did when he starred in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (a different Mr. Smith). If you haven't seen this recently, or ever, I highly recommend you view it. It will give you new resolve to believe that one person who holds true to the values of those he represents can make a difference.

Sharron Cotogno

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