By Alan Marchione
Dear Fellow Voters,
Surely by now, you’ve noticed the numerous signs in support of Props 416 and 417 littering our intersections. Once again, we have a local government entity, Pinal County in this case, asking us to support yet another useless tax. The political action committee backing this measure is none other than the contractors hoping to bid on the project, and profit off of your tax dollars. I’m asking you to join me in voting NO on this “tax-and-spend money grab.”
Seeking taxpayer support of a supplementary tax should not be the fix for the county and state’s ineffective management of the existing tax revenue allocated for building and/or maintaining roads. Our government continuously solicits us to finance every one of its dazzling programs. The reality is, they turn out to be poorly managed revenue streams with insufficient oversight, delivering little to no realized benefit to the taxpayer.
Government sustains its unquenchable appetite and sense of entitlement on what we earn. The question we should be asking our local representatives, is exactly what percentage of our hard-earned income do they feel we, the taxpayer, are entitled to keep for our own financial security? Pinal County and the PAC funding the yes effort, state “It’s just 24 cents a day.” A common gimmick used to try and sell you on why you should support a tax is the use of terms “Just” and “Only.”
On its own, “just” 24 cents per day may not seem like a very large sum, but when you add up all of the “Justs and the Onlies,” you end up with a Mt. Everest of Just and Only. The taxpayer, is left scratching their head looking at their “Kitchen Table Economics” monthly budget, wondering how to squeeze dollars out of cents. While subsidizing the needs of the federal government, state government, and local taxes, we are falling short on our ability to care for our own families, and adequately save for the future. Often forgotten, are lower income families and those on a fixed income, who are not able to easily absorb the financial burden of additional taxes as well as our local elected officials advocating it; unfortunately, this happens habitually.
While I fully support economic development and infrastructure improvements, I cannot support an additional tax that is being advertised with false promises and platitudes on how it will improve your quality of life, such as widening the 347 freeway to Chandler. Last I checked, it was called State Route 347, and not Maricopa Route 347. The current dysfunctional culture with respect to infrastructure improvements in the state, is that if you want the state to make an improvement, your community must pay part of the cost. Inherently, the financial burden is pushed to county and local governments to supplement the state’s responsibility. Further taxation on an already over-taxed community is not the answer. Between current federal, state, county, city, MUSD, CAC, utility and gas taxes, already higher utility rates, HOA dues, and every other tax and fee that can be put on us, I’d actually like to keep what money I have left, for my family.
At times, I wonder if we’re destined to tax ourselves into oblivion, and then ask ourselves how we got to this point. Nowadays, it seems we work more for the government than we do ourselves. You and your earned income are NOT the property of your government. Adding injury to insult, Pinal County is counting on your complacency, by strategically petitioning this item in an off-year election cycle, and by mail-in only ballot. For more information regarding this voting session, links to update your voter address, and local locations for ballot replacement on Nov. 7, please visit: http://www.pinalcountyaz.gov/Recorder/Documents/2017NovemberElectionFAQ.pdf. Join me in voting NO, and demand your government employ critical thinking skills in finding a better solution.
Alan Marchione is an 11-year resident of Maricopa and former city councilmember.