Your Opinion: Problems with Transformation

Dear Editor:

Mr. Stallman and Mr. Riley recently wrote regarding the chamber “transformer” tax (an analogy to the mega-buck sci-fi fantasy films).

Each writer states basic truths. No elected official can or will put their reputation on the line. They want only more of our taxes. This isn’t a personal attack: the guilty and innocent know who they are.

Who stands to gain from new local sales taxes? The Chamber of Commerce supposedly exists to promote businesses. Suddenly, it’s our defacto, unelected government intent on sustaining businesses with our taxes. The transformer tax is for their own economic development purposes and won’t benefit average taxpayers; unless they’re business owners.

Businesses collecting the chamber tax, city government, whatever that has become, developers, contractors, consultants, lawyers and advisers who engineered this episode in the final breakdown of local government, will all get a cut but not the taxpayers.

The council already gives approximately $250,000 of our taxes per year to the chamber, tax free, before the county’s donation. This practice is commonly known as a kickback. Thanks to their friends on the council, the chamber mixes our tax dollars into their general fund, spending as they please with no public oversight. No ethical accountant or government would tolerate taxpayers attempting such shenanigans. Taxpayers have no say over how our taxes are going to or spent by the chamber; it’s the law.

Our council members appear to be current or past members of the chamber or otherwise business-affiliated (wink-wink.) This represents an inherent, unacceptable conflict of interest. There’s a fox in our chicken coop: if taxpayers must ask this chamber fox: “Why aren’t my hens laying eggs,” when we know this fox ate our chickens, we’re worse off than the chickens. Taxpayers search for the truth objectively, don’t ask the chamber fox. Those hundreds of hardworking volunteers shamelessly praised for pushing this fox’s tax should publish their names so taxpayers may question them. Please stop praising nameless volunteers when credit isn’t given to the thousands of unappreciated, overworked, underpaid, overtaxed voters who don’t want to get sheared and shagged again by big business interests.

When an anti-transformation tax gathering was attempted last week, a chamber tax transformer was sent in, assuring disruption insued. Would the Democratic nominee speak at the Republican convention? Some things just aren’t done, but chamber and friends are desperately seeking our bailout.

Issue-oriented letters to the editor in response to this or about other local topics are welcome. All letters should be limited to 400 words. The author's name must appear with the letter, and the name, address and phone number provided for verification. Letters that cannot be verified by telephone will not be published. Send letters for publication to editor@newstribune.com

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - comments