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Reader’s Forum — 6-3-13

Taxation Without True Representation

Upon learning  Jeff Emory, our City Manager, and our elected officials with the exception of Mayor John Gilleland and Councilman Devin Rhyne were in favor of finalizing and balancing our 2013-14 municipal budget by adding a $10 monthly ($120 annual tax) on homeowners and using a sliding fee scale from $20 to $60 ($240 to $720 annually) as a garbage tax on businesses in addition to proposed 2% and 8% rate increases on water and electric fees, respectively, I thought these series of quotations about taxation  were appropriate. President  Thomas Jefferson said, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”
U.S. Chief Supreme Court Justice John Marshall said, “The power to tax is the power to destroy.” British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, “We contend that a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle.” Ron Paul, U.S. Congressman from Texas, physician, and three-time Presidential candidate says, “One thing is clear: The Founding Fathers never intended a nation where citizens would pay nearly half of everything they earn to the government….Never vote for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution.”
How quickly our city manager and our councilmen in favor of these unjustified and unnecessary garbage taxes have forgotten the significance of December 16, 1773 and October 25, 1774 — The Boston Tea Party and The Edenton (NC) Tea Party, protesting  British Parliament’s Tea Act of 1773. As result of these tea parties, the slogan Taxation Without Representation became the first battle cry of the American Revolutionary War.
With so many of our taxpayers unemployed, underemployed or retired, now isn’t the time for City Government to levy these garbage fees (taxes) to balance their budget. What other forms of unnecessary fees (taxes) are on our City Government agenda? Perhaps, inhaling and exhaling air within the city limits will be the next frivolous tax on their agenda.
Wasteful city government spending  needs to cease. Fire, police and public works departments are essential services of city government to ensure  the health and safety of our taxpayers. However, our city government needs to eliminate all non-essential departments where their employees’ duties and responsibilities are being duplicated in the private sector through our Chamber of Commerce and Lincoln County Economic Development Board.
Homeowners and business owners against our city manager and elected officials assessing a monthly garbage tax are encouraged you to arrive early, to sign up to speak  with Donna Flowers, City Clerk, and to voice your opposition at the next Council budget hearing today at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Robert A. Tomlinson

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