Do you really want to live without taxes?
Everyone hates to pay taxes. It's human nature.
On Sept. 13, each registered voter in Oklahoma will be asked to vote for or against adding to our fuel taxes, (an added .05 cents for gasoline, .08 cents on diesel.) The fuel tax is earmarked for highway and bridge improvements, and Rep. Gus Blackwell has said the legislation is written so that the Sooner politicos can't ...get our grubby little hands on it.
From the very first mention of adding to the fuel tax, the dissent went from a whisper to a roar, of No!
To those who say the price of fuel is already too high, I can only respond:
F Drive less, or get a more economical vehicle.
F Shop in Cimarron County not Potter County.
F Cigarettes once cost .30 cents a pack, now a name brand costs from $3.49 to $4.14.
F A liter of Coca-Cola costs $1.79 and a liter is about one-quarter of a gallon, that's about $7.16 a gallon, plus tax.
F A 32 ounce bottle of a popular sports drink costs $1.99, that's about $7.96 a gallon, plus tax.
F A bottle of water holding one and one-half pints costs $1.49...oh, you do the math. My point is people pay these prices every day, and never seem to flinch.
In addition, we in Cimarron County will be asked to vote on a Hotel/ Motel tax, which will add about five percent to the cost of each room. (A $40 room would have about $2 added.)
In Oklahoma for the past several years, any new tax package has to pass the scrutiny of the voters before it can become or remain in effect. I can appreciate the reasoning of the Oklahoma electorate in passing such a law. But I often doubt its wisdom. We all hate taxes; but sometimes our lawmakers need to remain unfettered so they can make decisions and turn those decisions into action. They need to be able to tax so the public can benefit.
Imagine if you will: it's Sept. 12, 2001. The World Trade Center is still twisted, smoldering, and burning.
Inside that wreckage are the bodies of about 2,752 victims. Their families are waiting for the bodies; wanting closure. But they can't have closure because we have to wait until the first Tuesday in November so that we can have a vote to decide if we want to:
(1) Raise taxes to excavate the ruins? Yes/No circle one.
And oh yes, there are three other questions on the ballot.
(2) Will you support a second rise in taxes to field an army to hunt down and destroy the perpetrators of this atrocity against humanity? Yes/No, circle one.
(3) In order to maintain Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments at the level required in the 21st Century will you pay one percent more in taxes? Yes/No circle one.
(4) To continue crop disaster, and other Ag payments an additional one percent will be required on your taxes? Yes/No circle one.
There will be of course detractors who will tell me, (and rightfully so), that I'm talking apples and oranges.
But let's look at this. We are in a protracted war. To fight that war we need to move troops, and products each day. Our very freedom could depend on it.
Our economy depends on free trade and the movement of products...both troops and products depend on good highways and bridges.
In Cimarron County we have a localized government centered around the courthouse. We no longer have an abstract office, (yes I know it wasn't a county funded office.) the OSU Extension Office was closed because there wasn't money in the county budget to support it. Our County government is underfunded, something has to, and will, give.
When my father first came to the Panhandle all legal work was done in Beaver. There was no courthouse in Guymon, Boise City or Kenton. He made the trip at about three days on horseback; for there were few roads, and those roads weren't paved. Do we really want to roll the county back 100 years?
It is possible the survival of our Cimarron County Courthouse and the families its jobs support, might hinge on the Hotel/Motel tax. This is a tax that most cities or counties around us already collect. When any citizen of Cimarron County travels to Denver, Santa Fe, Taos, Oklahoma City, or Amarillo and rents a room, they very likely pay a Motel/Hotel tax. And they give it not a second's thought. It will be the same with any potential occupant of any Cimarron County hostelry. If they have come here or plan to come here, and if they have the money to stay, they'll pay the tax. (If the roads are in such a condition they can drive to their destination.) And perhaps we'll still have a courthouse and won't have to do more business, and spend more money, out-of-county.
The word for the week-reality.
Boise City News