Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Fixed Income

I don't know about where you live, but here in Northwest Ohio we are currently in the midst of our season of orange cones, with these cheery little pieces of sunshine spreading like dandelions everywhere you look. I guess that I didn't realize it, but it also appears to be the season of levy requests as well.Entreaties for cash seem to be flooding in like it's hurricane season (oh yeah, it is). 

I guess that we can chalk it up to Global Warming therefore that every local entity capable of asking for money from a levy seems to be ready to place one on the ballot for the fall. COSI (the local museum), The Toledo Zoo, the Library, and probably the school district (though they haven't announced yet) is preparing to ask for just a bit more of my money than they were getting, with dire consequences predicted if they don't. Each one of these groups tells me that it won't be much money, but if only all of the levies proposed for the ballot this fall were to pass it would add over $100 to the annual tax bill of everyone who owns a home worth $100,000.

In spite of the fact that many of these organizations already are receiving money from an existing levy of some kind, the only concern that anyone seems to have about asking for this taxpayer largess is for people who live on a fixed income. Well I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but everyone I know lives on a fixed income. 

The salary that I make is fixed. The money deducted from my paycheck for health benefits and retirement is fixed. The only thing that appears not to be fixed in this equation is the amount Federal, State, and City taxes, and now levies that someone is trying to decide I will pay. Even though I live in an apartment (who can save enough money to buy a place with all the taxes that we pay), I will still have to pay all of the property taxes and levies, added into the rent that I do and will have to pay.  

Now I am neither heartless and cruel nor stupid (hey come on, be nice), and I know that the point that is trying to be made here is about people who are living on a retirement income. I know too that these types of incomes are affected by both inflation and rising prices. Then again, so are mine. I don't know anyone who gets a raise every time their taxes go up. I know very few people who manage to get a salary review and raise every year in fact. 

The truth of the matter is that the only people that I am aware of who seem to get such "cost of living" raises are union employees who have not been hit with down-turns in their industry and oh yeah, government employees. So maybe the only people prepared to pay the increased taxes that these levies would require would be the very people receiving the money to keep their jobs intact. Go Figure! 

 I believe in museums, zoos, and libraries. I believe in the culture and quality of life that they bring to a community. I also believe that these institutions should be supported to some extent. I even believe in paying taxes (I don't like it, but I pay none the less). I refuse to believe however, that anyone should feel better about taking my money than someone else's, just because I am still working for it.

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