I happen to believe that my highest tax rate should come from the part of government that is closest to my front door. Which means that if I live in an incorporated town limits, then my highest tax rate should be coming from that town. If I live outside of town limits then my highest rate should be from the county in which I live.
The reason I feel this way, is that I believe that for those things that we do need government for ,we are best served at the local level. For streets and sidewalks, for street lights and for police protection, people living in town limits should only need to go as far as their town council to receive satisfaction.
For county roads and any areas outside of town limits , those citizens should look to their county council. And of course for state highways and state issues, all state citizens should contact their state leaders.
The problem is that the lines have been blurred between the different government entities.
For example, say a small town in Sussex County needs to improve their sewer system. Now instead of raising the town sewer bills or the town taxes, which of course might cost some town councilman his job during the next election, the town turns to the county council. This has probably happened in the past, so the county council has most likely added this type of funding into their budget. This means that people on the other side of the county will be paying for the sewer in a small town on the other side of the county. It also means that their is a good chance that county tax rates or the county deficit will increase.
So now the county council is running in deficit. Of course they don’t wish to raise county taxes because it may cause them to lose their jobs in the next election. So at some point the county council will turn to the state government to solve some fiscal short fall for the county. Once again the state has budgeted this into the state budget. This again means that people in New Castle County may actually be paying for the sewer system of some small town in Sussex County.
Let us continue this line of thought, of course the state is continually turning to the Federal government for federal aid, this means that the people of Hawaii are actually paying for the sewer system of some small town in Sussex County Delaware when they pay their federal taxes.
The real effect of this practice of one government entity turning to another for fiscal aid is that as we move farther away from the problem, we are actually paying a higher tax rate. This also means that as we move farther away from the problem , those whom we are turning to are less accountable to those who have the problem.
What we really need are leaders who have the guts to come to those who they represent and explain why local taxes need to be raised. If the need exist, then most likely the people will understand . It is the frivolous spending that causes the people to become upset.
Instead of town councilmen who brag about the money they get from the county, instead of county councilmen bragging about state dollars they bring back to the county, and so it goes that instead of state legislators running to the federal government, and instead of our federal leaders bragging about how many federal dollars they brought back to the state for beach replenishment. What we really need are leaders who will work hard to keep local dollars, local.
What we must remember is that before those federal dollars were federal dollars, before those state dollars were state dollars, before the county dollars were county dollars and yes even before those town dollars were town dollars, all of those dollars were yours and mine. All of those government entities had to first stick their long, taxing fingers into your pocket and mine .
So I don’t know about the rest of you, but I would like my money spent by someone a little closer to home then by some senator from Nebraska. I would like the people spending my money to be directly accountable to me and my neighbors, rather than the citizens of New York.