March boldly forward

Re: Protect our independence

With Independence Day approaching, now is a good time to review the state of our freedom. For liberty to advance, we need to take bold and decisive steps. The old two steps forward and one step back is a recipe for failure. Liberty requires marching boldly forward.

The personal liberty of the Enlightenment was built on the free markets of the Renaissance. Then Americans combined the two concepts of free people working in free markets. The American success story is one of building on, and always advancing the cause of freedom.

So how is freedom doing in Sheridan?

For decades, Wyoming taxed food, but we finally convinced lawmakers that taxing a basic necessity was wrong. We abolished the food tax in 2006. Not only did it cost less to buy groceries, freedom took a step forward.

That same year, voters in Sheridan County re-imposed the state’s highest sales tax of 6% and freedom stepped sideways.

In 2010, they tried to impose building codes countywide. We stopped that intrusion and freedom stepped forward. But later that year we again coughed up more of our money and re-imposed the 6% sales tax. Sidestep again.

In 2011, we adopted “Vermont-style” carry and did away with most gun-carry restrictions. We re-asserted the Second Amendment and freedom stepped boldly forward.

In the summer of 2013, they tried to slip a property tax hike by us, disguised as a “bond-issue.” If passed, it would have raised property taxes by millions and hit every property owner in Sheridan County. We stopped the tax hike by a mere 300 votes. Freedom advanced.

Freedom stepped sideways in 2014, as we again re-imposed the state’s highest sales tax.

In 2015, the previous city council imposed the forced-fluoride program and freedom took a giant leap backward.

Then in 2018, we took a side step and a step backward as we both re-imposed the 6% sales tax and approved a 4% lodging tax countywide.

We could have greeted visitors with a friendly 5% sales tax had we not re-imposed the (state high) 6%. Instead, we slapped our hapless visitors with a 10% total lodging/sales tax. And if the state imposes a new 5% lodging tax, on top of that, we’ll be turning away visitors with a 15% total lodging/sales tax. Going from one of the nation’s lowest tax rates to one of the highest will negatively affect tourism.

And remember, all tax money goes straight to Cheyenne, for politicians to fight over, before we ever see a penny locally.

In 2019, we took back our right to choose what enters our homes and abolished forced fluoride. Freedom won!

So, freedom in Sheridan County is one step forward, a step sideways, then a step back. We’re kind of dancing in place and doing the Sheridan Shuffle.

American liberty has been successful because we march forward toward more freedom, not backward into failed socialism. And if we’re just dancing in place, we’re losing liberty.

So the next time they ask us if we want higher taxes, let’s put our foot down, step forward and say “No.”

The next time they try to infringe on our freedom or add new regulations, let’s step boldly forward and loudly say “No.” Then march on.

Higher taxes and more red tape always hurt us and our economy. And high-tax, big-government socialism has failed everywhere it’s ever been tried.

Let’s turn the Sheridan Shuffle into a march forward, that always advances freedom! Happy Independence Day!


Dennis Fox


Editor’s note: The word limit for the above letter was waived.