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Future worth $8.51 a month
How much is the future of Arizona worth to you? If you’re state Sen. Jim Waring, R-Phoenix, or House Speaker James Weiers, R-Phoenix, not much.
On Wednesday, the two held a press conference along with a number of other Republican lawmakers to call for the permanent repeal of the state’s county equalization property tax rate.
The state suspended this property tax rate for three years in 2006 under a budget deal reached with Gov. Janet Napolitano.
Now, unless the legislature acts and the governor agrees, the tax will return at the end of 2008 as was agreed to. To hear Republicans talk, the resumption of the tax will be a travesty of epic proportions. We can’t “balance the budget on the backs of homeowners,” Weiers said. It’s unconscionable to allow a “huge” tax increase. So, how much is “huge”?
The county equalization rate is 43 cents per $100 of limited valuation. According to county assessor valuation records, the speaker’s tax increase will be $16.18 per month; Waring’s monthly increase will be $6.51 and my tax increase will be $8.51. On average, it amounts to $5.85 per home.
My Republican colleagues continue to impress upon all of us that Arizona is currently facing a budget shortfall of $1.8 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Letting the 2006 budget agreement be implemented, will generate approximately $250 million in 2009. That is $250 million less of cuts to Arizona’s services.
I believe that my monthly cost of $8.51 is well worth it to continue to build schools and improve education for our children; provide dental care for the elderly and developmentally disabled; provide medications and food to our vulnerable senior citizens; provide health care to 19,235 children; to provide vaccines for uninsured and underinsured children for many other reasons to help yours and my neighbors. I trust that your readers will agree that this small contribution provides greater returns for Arizona.
SEN. JORGE GARCIA
Kyl’s opposition welcomed
Sen. Jon Kyl. R-Ariz., showed excellent judgment in voting against cloture on the recent Senate energy bill, which contained massive new taxes on domestic energy producers.
These taxes would have had tremendous negative economic consequences for America’s businesses and consumers who are already struggling with record-high energy costs. As has been the case in the past, energy taxes like this just get passed down to us via higher prices for gasoline and heating our home.
These price increases would not only make it more difficult to keep our families and businesses running, but would make American products more expensive worldwide, leaving our industries less competitive with other countries. This would lead to reduced economic growth and cost us jobs among manufacturers and businesses which are already threatened by escalating energy costs.
A growing economy needs more energy to power our factories and businesses. We need to look for ways to expand domestic production of existing and alternative energy sources.
New energy taxes punish our energy producers and all of us. Kyl and the others who voted against this measure deserve our thanks.
I wonder if the readers of the Tribune can correctly identify who wrote these words in an open letter to the people of America:
“The legitimacy, power and influence of a government do not emanate from its arsenals of tanks, fighter aircrafts, missiles or nuclear weapons. Legitimacy and influence reside in sound logic, quest for justice and compassion and empathy for all humanity. The global position of the United States is in all probability weakened because the administration has continued to resort to force, to conceal the truth, and to mislead the American people about its policies and practices.
“Is there not a better approach to governance?
“Is it not possible to put wealth and power in the service of peace, stability, prosperity and the happiness of all peoples through a commitment to justice and respect for the rights of all nations, instead of aggression and war? We all condemn terrorism, because its victims are the innocent. But, can terrorism be contained and eradicated through war, destruction and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocents?
“If that were possible, then why has the problem not been resolved?”
I also wonder if the Tribune will be courageous enough to print these words written in November 2006 by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? We may not agree with his conduct in his own country, whatever we may think we know about it. However, who can read the passage above and disagree with what has been written?
America has some serious soul-searching to do. A concerned and responsible citizenry owes it to the populations of people in the world today who are suffering at the expense of the actions of our own government. It’s not enough to inform one’s self. We need to stand up and make our voices heard.
Changes make roadway less safe
I have a complaint about a so-called “dip” which was recently constructed across East Calle Camelia at 65th Street in Scottsdale. My son nearly lost the front end of his car when we were coming home on the night of its completion. This is an intersection which has existed without problem for 50-plus years prior to our “genius” Scottsdale transportation people deciding to “improve” it.
A concrete trough was placed across the street which is so obviously deep that when a car is driven over it at a normal rate of speed, the front end of the car drops down and scrapes the pavement as well as creating significant stress on the suspension. This is nothing more than a lawsuit waiting to happen.
I reported this problem to the city and I was told they would have the contractor place a “dip” sign at the site, and maybe they would slightly reduce the severity of the ridiculously deep hole across the road when they resurface in about three months or so. They need to have the contractor return and change the configuration of the roadway so that an automobile can be driven over it at the normal posted speed on the road without having severe damage done to the car. Digging a ditch across a road and then placing a dip sign and or reducing speed to a crawl should not be necessary.
So some kid rides his brakeless bike into the right rear side of a van when he is unable to stop, and for this misdeed he is rewarded with a new bike that has brakes. The owner of the van, whose wife was just driving down the street, will wind up paying the deductible, which hasn’t been made public. I imagine it will be $250 to $500. The parents of this kid come out looking like irresponsible deadbeats, while the owner of the van is a victim of the parents first and the insurance company second. Allstate doesn’t have the guts to stand up and defend its own customer.
Too many ads
Research suggests that we are exposed to thousands of advertisements daily. Our exposure to these advertisements has in fact been exacerbated by our reliance on technology in this media-saturated world.
The constant bombardment of these eyesores that blanket our roads and communities only further adds to the frustration that comes along with living in the Western world (and the East Valley). Must we be exposed to more of these absurd and unnecessary signs?
Church or no church (“Churches upset with A-frame sign rules,” Jan. 6), these signs must be subject to the same enforcement as other signs. I applaud the Queen Creek code enforcer who continues to remove these unholy annoyances!
CHRISTOPHER J. SCHNEIDER