Recent action by the county
commission to raise property taxes to
sustain county parks without a vote of
the people is narrowly permissible under
a 1913 statute (amended last in ‘82), but
is it prudent given the current state of
The resolution the board passed cites
the “mental and social health” the parks
afford each individual as an incentive for
passage. That’s well and good, but there
is a corollary that speaks to the collective
health of the body politic that is equally
valid. The first rule of thumb for the
health and well being of the electorate is
for government to live within its means,
the primary duty of prudently managing
taxpayers’ dollars. In overextending our
reach, we grab at straws that drain the
well of public trust.
In the absence of permitting a vote of
the people to increase or not increase
their own property taxes, the prudent
action would be to trim the sails, difficult
as that may be!
Perhaps the “3 Rs” are in order:
Reconsider, Rescind, and Reassess.
Reconsider the vote by which the taxincrease
resolution was passed without
allowing for a direct vote of the people,
rescind the resolution, and reassess
budget priorities, difficult as that may be.

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