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Taxes—Death of a Thousand Cuts

May 23, 2013

Why does government keep growing in spite of a knowledgeable and vocal group of people, including me, who are trying to stop it? One reason is because there are now too many units of government that can raise our taxes and it is nearly impossible for responsible citizens to know what each of them are doing, let alone to stop them. It is the death of a thousand cuts. Each little tax increase bleeds us a little more.

The most recent example is the newspaper headline stating that the Maricopa County Community College District has approved a tax hike. Property taxes are to increase 2%. But the most important part of the news article was the statement “No one spoke against the tax increase during the public hearing preceding the vote.” Had I known about this opportunity I certainly would have been there to protest and I know that others would also do so. But it is simply impossible for one citizen to keep track of all these government entities.

That is why I believe we need a volunteer watchdog organization that would have a person assigned to each government entity, such as college districts, counties, cities, water districts, library districts, hospital districts, etc. I think this may be a task that is too expensive for paid employees but a well-organized group of volunteers could have a significant impact. I have formed a group called “Arizona Government Watchdogs” and I would welcome the participation of anyone who shares my concern.

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