Letter, April 9, 2014
Date posted: April 9, 2014
Tax enhances quality of life; worth supporting
Re: Fox letter, Press, April 5
I hope The Sheridan Press gets a lot of letters in response to the “Government force” argument put forward in the Letters section of last weekend’s edition. I’d like to think that the view put forth by the writer is an isolated one, or was merely meant to draw out letters of support, like this one, in favor of the 1 percent optional sales tax.
First off, the writer is mistaken about “force” not being the preferred method of paying for needed services in a free country. Most needed services are paid for by property taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, and even federal income taxes that trickle down to state and local levels. While I would agree that these taxes are generally “forced” on us by the government, I believe that law-abiding citizens accept this burden as the price of living in a free country and maintaining a quality of life we hold so dear. As for the optional 1 percent sales tax, Sheridan residents don’t bear the full burden of the sales tax alone. Every time a car or truck passing through on Interstate 90 stops for fuel and a bite to eat in Sheridan, they pay into our optional sales tax fund.
Second, by its very name, the 1 percent optional sales tax is just that, “optional,” in that each year we voters get to decide whether or not it will continue to be imposed and collected from retailers by the state government. So when our 1 percent optional sales tax is passed by a majority vote, there is no government force involved, except for the “enforcement” of all the sales tax laws by the state on retailers. Incidentally, while many states have combined state and local sales tax rates approaching 10 percent or more, our combined sales tax rate of 6 percent (which includes the 1 percent optional tax), is among the lowest sales tax rates in the country.
Finally, I urge all Sheridan Press readers to vote in favor of the 1 percent optional sales tax, so that we may continue to provide vital support for the arts and local recreation facilities. We residents benefit from this tax in so many ways. Every resident and visitor who sees our beautiful parks and downtown feels the aesthetic effects of our 1 percent optional sales tax. Whether you participate in the arts, use the parks and pathways, or simply enjoy the positive atmosphere the tax has helped make possible, our continued investment in the arts, parks and pathways adds to our quality of life here. It makes us proud to live in Sheridan. It also makes Sheridan a place where visitors enjoy spending time and their hard-earned money, and it’s a place they will want to come back and visit again. I am proud to be part of a town that values the arts and a healthy, active lifestyle. Let’s keep it going!
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Press’ word limit on letters was waived for this submission.