An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

A Taxing Situation

Property tax notices are out in our county. And grumblings rumble through the land. “How much is enough for the government?” “The government has a lot of nerve. Charging me for living in my own home!” Senior citizens are among the worse gripers because many lack monthly mortgage payments which include taxes. Spreading the pain over a 12-month period has advantages.

But while I object to many things for which federal taxes are spent, I am tired of the notion that property taxes are some sort of punishment inflicted upon us by a government gone mad. I value most of the services our property taxes fund.

In our county approximately 63% of our property tax goes for schools. Even though I don’t have children in school, I benefit when the children of my community are taught well and grow up to be productive citizens. I also don’t object to the approximately 6% of my taxes that maintains libraries, parks and recreation facilities. These all make our community a better place in which to live. Another 14% goes for a jail bond—and I do think we’d be wise to investigate less expensive ways to deal with criminal behavior.

About 14% goes for county government and 8% for city government. Here is where I see potential for savings. I live where the boundaries of four small towns, Bountiful, North Salt Lake, Woods Cross, and West Bountiful, intersect. Since two high schools serve this population, why do we need four mayors, four city managers, four city halls, four police departments and four fire departments? Why not unite into one large city and save on administrative overhead? Besides saving money, we’d save the confusion of different cities using different grid systems for street numbers.

I would join the Tea Party Movement in a heartbeat if they would quit screaming about taxes in general and look at specific ways to save tax money on the local, state and national level.

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