letter to the editor

Resolutions and budgets

Posted:  Monday, January 1, 2018 - 4:00pm

Dear Editor:

Every year many create New Year’s Resolutions so next year is better than last year. Resolution lists can be short or long, depending on how we live. It could be to graduate from high school, get a scholarship, graduate from college for better jobs, lose or gain weight, budget to pay down debt, or budget to increase debt. What? Individual budgets attempt to lower annual debt with higher revenues.  Whether we are millionaires, or billionaires, our first budget expense item is not to give away our money to those who are wealthier than we are. Many faiths expect us to give 10 percent of our income to the church and give other support dollars to those in need, especially children.

Recently we have been subject to a strange budget process. Nothing was transparent, no public hearings, and the majority to benefit, including the wealthy, were a single party’s legislative representatives.

Our state runs by home rule. We have elected officials, but ultimately each one of us can vote for or against town recommended budgets. Suppose the town’s council or select board decided to have their budget meeting behind closed doors. There are no public hearings, only the wealthiest half of the board meet and construct the warrant’s language. The proposal is to take all surplus reserve dollars and give them to the wealthiest property owners as well as business owners in the form of tax reductions. The chair and 2 out of 5 representatives fall into this category. Essentially the bill personally favors them and no others are allowed to make a change. 

Will that pass in a town vote? They have to include something that makes everyone believe they are getting a good deal. So the middle value properties are granted a property tax reduction for two years. They forget to mention that the majority of town voters do not have high value property, and many do not own any property, but live in rental units. 

In these federal and town cases the existing tax dollars in the bank are given away. How would you balance the 2018-2019 budgets?

Jarryl Larson