One property, one vote
Date posted: August 9, 2013
Re: College bond issue
Here’s the solution to almost all the issues raised about the coming bond vote. “Only property owners can vote and their vote affects only their property.”
That way, most of us get what we want. A supporter of the new bond will do just that: support the bond with their yards signs, ad campaigns and their wallets. Those opposed to the bond will not have an unwanted tax increase imposed on them. One-property, one vote, one tax levy: your own.
This approach would only apply to this one vote, on this one issue, not to the broader issue of taxes for essential government services. The vote on Aug. 20 concerns but one topic, nothing else, so this may work.
A supporter is truely doing just that, supporting the bond, in word and deed, without obligating others. A “yes” vote in this plan limits the impact to only those bearing the cost. That’s about as fair as it gets. We don’t impose our music tastes or fashion sense on others, why would we allow it for money?
Issue: Those with no “skin in the game” (non-property owners) can vote to raise taxes on others.
Solution: Only property owners can vote and that vote affects only that property.
The 18 college students who benefit, but bear no tax increase, shouldn’t be allowed to raise property taxes on the retired couple, on a fixed income, struggling to make it. Only those paying the bill should have a say in the matter.
Issue: I think we need a new college building and am willing to pay for it.
Solution: One property, one vote.
A “yes” vote will do just that, raise your taxes for the bond, but will not allow you to speak for others on the issue. Your vote stops at your own wallet and doesn’t extend to your neighbors.
Issue: I object to higher property taxes for any number of reasons.
Solution: One property, one vote.
A “no” will satisfy almost all other objections and again, your vote affects only you and makes no claim on the resources of others.
Likewise, almost all the other sub-issues, from how well the college spends money to effects on the economy are resolved. If you think a new building will improve the economy, then vote for a tax increase on your property. If you think the school wastes money, then don’t give them any more. Everybody’ s happy.
One person, one vote, one property, will make almost everyone happy except those determined to impose their views on others. I can’t help them.
This was the way it used to be in America. Only property owners could vote at elections of any type. Since they were the only ones paying, they were the only ones with a voice.
I’m not suggesting we go back to that system, just saying that in this single issue, allowing only property owners to vote and having that vote affect only their property is a concept that is fair for all and would satisfy almost all the various concerns surrounding this single bond issue.
Since we may not have time to discuss and implement this approach, I’d suggest we vote “no” and table this till the next election. That’ll give us time to study this type of vote and allow discussion as a community. In the meantime, let’s not upset about half the taxpayers (and voters) by rushing head-long into an ill-timed, and possible unwise, tax hike.
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