Our resident tax crusader, Fiscal Policy Center Director Penn Pfiffner, recently paid a visit to Vail to meet with Eagle County residents affected by rising property taxes due to increasing land values. This is the crux of the matter, “In Eagle County, assessed values of homes, on which property taxes are based, increased an average of 40 percent. Many taxing districts, including the county, the ambulance districts and most of the towns, chose not to lower their mill levies, or property tax rates, resulting in much higher tax bills.” Unfortunately for the residents, many of the districts have chosen not to give the extra revenue back to them claiming they are exempt from TABOR, or as Penn refers to it – “de-Bruced.” The attendees felt they learned a lot about their situation, but still lack some direction for a solution. My advice is this – you already have your solution Vail. How about tapping into some of the revenue from your $100 lift tickets and your mandatory parking fees? Better yet, take $1 from every $9 burger you sell to cover some public works costs. Ok, sorry. That was a bit too harsh. I really do love you Vail. Your mountain is second to none. But honestly, you don’t have to do away with TABOR when you’ve got the kind of revenue stream you have.
Archive for March, 2008
Lately, due to their recent Internet fame, my minions have been asking me to show the world who they are. Apparently, once you make a couple videos, you suddenly become obsessed with self-promotion. Well, here is a recent snapshot taken at the office:
…. when it is others planning for you. Randal O’Toole, Director for our Center for the American Dream and Senior Fellow over at the Cato Institute, recently discussed his book, The Best-Laid Plans: How Government Planning Harms Your Quality of Life, Your Pocketbook, and Your Future with Amy Oliver on ivoices.org. Randal goes into the reasons why government planning of large projects most often end up in gigantic failures. Planners, regardless of expertise, are not as careful with taxpayer money as they are with their own. Additionally, the incentive to admit mistakes, when they are as large as they usually are, is lacking. Therefore, these ineffective and costly projects get resurrected over, and over again. Randal’s rule of thumb is that it takes about one generation for planners to admit a mistake. And from there they actually have to do something about it. I wouldn’t advise holding your breath.
I resist using this space for pimping anyone but myself, but you might be interested in a good buddy of mine, Paul Bailey. Along with an army of courageous friends, Paul helped prop me up when my daughter died of cancer several years ago. On this St. Patty’s day Paul made one of the ultimate sacrifices any man can – he shaved his head to raise money for kid’s cancer. The sad fact that he was mostly bald to begin with doesn’t lessen the gesture. Although I’m pretty sure Paul was just looking for a free haircut, I’m asking you to donate to his effort to raise a little cash for “St. Baldrick’s.” You might recall when I shaved my head for the cause. Your tax-deductible gift goes to help kids battling cancer. And you can see what Paul looked like when he had hair. Donate here.
© 2008, Benjamin Hummel. To see more cartoons like this go to www.politixcartoons.com.
Talk radio is a great medium because any idiot with a cell phone can instantly challenge any idea and promote a differing view. It is a newspaper editorial page on steroids and a true two-way broadcast. You'd never find it in Soviet Russia and therefore it's hardly a wonder that the Left can barely get even a foothold on it.
It is always a kick for me to fill in for Mike Rosen on 850 KOA, even though it means I must leave my own late night radio audience of the dateless and infirmed to be a guest host. One of the "duties" Rosen (who, by the way, was Independence's first senior fellow when we opened our doors in 1985) does on Fridays is a movie review. He saves the crap-ass flicks for me. He ruins the endings to the Academy Award winners while I get to review Police Academy 12 – One More Fart Joke.
Anyway last Friday we reviewed Horton Hears a Who, which I thought was going to be a rockumentary about my favorite band. The cool part was I had a quick minute-or-so interview with my date at the movie, my 5-year-old daughter Piper who gives it a big thumbs up. I asked her how much it costs to go to a movie. Her answer – $600. Listen here. Watch out the next generation is coming!
Via the Property Rights Project blog: RTD has released the times and locations of their Board Meetings and Study Sessions. They are allowing three minutes per person to speak to the Board of Directors. Citizens are “encouraged to attend.” We’ll see about that…. See the Property Rights Project calendar to get the specific dates. Here are the upcoming April dates.
Tonight I will be interviewing Cato’s Michael Tanner who will dispel some of the myths behind Massa-choice-less‘s health care policy. His new policy analysis, the Grass is not always greener, goes into the specifics of state mandated health care initiatives from around the world. Needless to say, there are almost no good results from these feel good policies. Learn why we need to stay far away from Massachusetts style health care mandates tonight at 8:30 on KBDI channel 12. If you like re-runs tune in next Tuesday evening at 5 p.m. for a repeat performance.
Perhaps inspired by my Got a Calculator post awhile back, my little web monkeys have been at it again. This time they put together the inaugural Free Market Minute starring our Amy Oliver. This edition discusses health care facts and fiction, making a case against the oft told $900 per person, per year fallacy. A state representative claims, “you’re paying a hidden tax right now, it’s well over $900 per year…” No, Ms. Representative, we are not. Here’s why:
While we are on the subject…. my colleague over at Mount Virtus points out a newly popularized fallacy: the notion that one Coloradan is dying per day because they don’t have health insurance. Just like she did with the over $900 per year falsehood, Linda Gorman has already begun to work her magic on this nonsense.
How the west will be lost is tonight! I will be on the panel, and that’s reason enough to go. Be there!