Tax increase: Just say no to O

The Town of Apple Valley is once again spending our money to convince us that it is doing such a great job of spending our money that it needs more money and that we should be grateful for the opportunity to give it to them.

One of the points they raise in their hard sell is “the Town has not raised the sales tax rate in its 32 years of incorporation.”

Do you know what else has not happened in the last 32 years? A tax decrease. When gas prices were sky high, the Town just quietly took the money and frittered it away. When the economy was doing well and retail sales were up, the Town Council didn’t lower the tax rate, and neither did they put anything away for a rainy day. They spent and spent and spent and spent. To this day, despite having to take out a “payday” loan to cover their deficit spending, the Town Council continues to spend. That “payday” loan was guaranteed by future tax revenues. Now that revenues are down and the loan is coming due, the Town is trying to ding us for its profligate spending.

Tax rates are calculated as a percentage of a given activity, so as the residents and businesses in the town do better, tax revenues go up. So as the town grows, which Town Hall assures us is happening, tax revenues should automatically go up, too.

So why increase the tax rate?

First, the Town spends more than it gets. No matter how high the tax rate, and no matter how much tax revenue it received, the Town would still do this.

Second, bad policies by the Town Council have made our town less safe and less business-friendly. In essence, they are asking for more money as a reward for debasing our community.

California already has high taxes across the board. Ergo, Californians already suffer a high tax burden, in addition to other factors that increase the cost of living in California above that of other states. Californians are also being victimized by state and local government power plays to restrict our freedoms, including the freedom to earn a living.

But the Town’s position seems to be that no matter how much its residents are suffering, Town Hall should not have to pinch pennies — even in lean times.

This is wrong on every level. That is why I urge everyone to vote No on Measure O.

Greg Raven is Co-Chair of Apple Valley Citizens for Government Accountability, and is concerned about quality of life issues.