Sometimes it’s easy to get down when we look at all the politics in our Country. Yet, there are flickers of hope all around. Now that Missouri is past our Presidential Primary, we can focus on the municipal elections—which are coming up in two weeks!
Every election, people come into my store asking me for advice on how to vote effectively. While the issues may be different, the principles are the same.
I always vote against superficial tax increases. You’d be surprised at how well a government can function just fine on its current level of funding. If it can’t function with its existing funds, perhaps it would be better to find elected officials who know how to manage on the current budget.
Local governments get increases without a vote of the taxpayers when real estate appreciates. When the elected officials ask us to add to our current burdens, they are spending our taxpayers’ dollars to put the question on the ballot. If we say, “No” enough times, they get the message that we expect our governments to function in a prudent and limited manner.
Since the taxation level is connected to the property values, the two numbers will naturally synchronize with inflation. Therefore, unless there were a true disaster or something devastating, the only reason for the government to ask for more money would be to expand itself.
Few voters who support tax increases realize how badly this hurts businesses in their communities. Homeowners are taxed at 19% and Commercial property is taxed at 32%—in addition to the inflated valuation because of the property being in a higher traffic area.
Some people will callously say, “that’s just the cost of doing business”, not realizing that all costs and taxes are passed onto the consumer. 100% of the businesses’ money comes from the clients or customers. Even if one imagines the extra money will come out of the owner’s bank account, if all the profits are eaten up in taxes, the owner can take his business to a more profitable community. The elected officials don’t have to understand economics in order to get elected, but it sure would help all of us if they did.
If you don’t know the candidates, it’s okay to call them and ask them your questions. As a former candidate, I never minded answering questions from a voter. If you can’t find a phone number for the candidate, that speaks to how approachable he or she will be in office as well.
While we don’t expect to be able to get through to the president, on the local level, there is no reason for the elected officials to be hard to find. If candidates don’t want to interact with the public, they shouldn’t put their names on the ballots.
Hint: a good place to find a phone number is on the campaign literature. If it’s not on there, that tells you a lot about the accessibility of the candidate. It’s only going to get worse after the election.
If you don’t get through to the candidate or are not happy with the responses to your questions, use e-mail and social media to let others know about your experience. However, be aware that some people will make up falsehoods as well in order to affect the outcome. This is why you have to do your own research and due diligence.
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