Taxation should be based on use. Excise taxes are the way to go. They are subject to market forces and are as simple as the phrase: “You use it, you pay for it.” Any other form of taxation goes contrary to the purpose of government.  Yet, in light of the recent use of certain excise taxes, it should also be noted that when it comes to the use of those tax dollars, a direct link between the tax and the service provided is necessary to remain legitimate.

Redistribution of tax dollars is a dangerous method that leads to government becoming a battleground for special interest groups. It leads to lobbying for services that benefit some at the expense of others. No one should benefit at the expense of someone else through taxation.

I am against UTOPIA from top to bottom.

The City of Orem should never have become involved with UTOPIA. If UTOPIA was such a good idea with such a good business plan to begin with, why did they “need” to rely on the City of Orem’s credit rating instead of the seed money generated by fully private investors? This involvement not only creates the moral hazard of the immoral presumption of “obligating” the people of Orem to a debt they did not directly choose for themselves, but it distorts the market by interfering with the ability of other companies to compete providing the same or a similar service!

In a free market, those that best serve the public rise to the top! Competition is the name of the game, and the quality and market price will be set by the view of the consumer! But why would the people of UTOPIA, even after the awful facts that came out after the audit last summer, work harder to compete better? The City or Orem has shown time and time again that they are more willing to raise taxes on the people of Orem before treating an agreement that UTOPIA continually breaks on their end, as even at all conditional on our end.

UTOPIA is not only unnecessary, but it is, from many angles, benefitting some at the expense of others. And I don’t think that continuing the problem, as has been the case thus far, is ever a solution to the problem itself. Never is the liability ever one-sided when it comes to any sort of loans, and the consequences of continuing the problem are much worse than the pain of discontinuing it.

I am against the CARE Tax.

This is an unfortunate perversion of excise taxes themselves. Once again, it is never legitimate for government to tax some for the benefit of others. All government services should be open to all, yet paid for by the ones who use it. I am sure that if, instead of the arts, this tax was being used to benefit the coffee shop industry, the people of Orem may be more aware of the ironically “moral” issues behind the use of these tax dollars.

– I am against the Property Tax increase

Property is an extension of your life. Your right to the Pursuit of Happiness encompasses the right to be secure in those extensions of your life that include the tangible acquisitions of your time and energy. Therefore, a tax on your property is essentially an direct tax on your life itself. If made involuntary, what would be a logical difference between this and slavery itself? Property Taxes are opposed to a truly free society.

Therefore, it is the least I can do to publicly oppose, and hope the people of Orem reject, the proposed tax increase. I am thankful to Hans Andersen, Wayne Burr, and others to whom the credit goes for the success of the referendum that forced this tax increase to the voters themselves. I happily signed the petition, and will happily vote against the tax increase.

– I am against any tax-created Grants or other forms of legalized Plunder

Since government action should be limited to that sphere of action in which an individual person has the right to act, it should be clear that grants and other modes of forced re-distribution of wealth are outside the proper role of government. 

As the French political economist Frederic Bastiat so succinctly stated:

“It is impossible to introduce into society a greater change and a greater evil than this: the conversion of the law into an instrument of plunder…

But how is [legal plunder] to be distinguished? Very easily. See whether the law takes from some persons that which belongs to them, to give to others what does not belong to them. See whether the law performs, for the profit of one citizen, and, to the injury of others, an act that this citizen cannot perform without committing a crime. Abolish this law without delay; it is not merely an iniquity—it is a fertile source of iniquities, for it invites reprisals; and if you do not take care, the exceptional case will extend, multiply, and become systematic.” (The Law, read here)

I desire a city that is in harmony with the proper role of government. Accepting grants perpetuates a system that not only violates those principles, but also leads to a dependency that the city should not continue. We should have a budget that truly represents a “pay-as-you-go” philosophy, paid for by excise taxes, and which doesn’t depend on the taxation of any other outside group of people for the services we enjoy.

I agree with the words of Ezra Taft Benson when he stated:

“I consider it a violation of the Constitution for the Federal Government to levy taxes for the support of state or local government; that no state or local government can accept funds from the Federal and remain independent in performing its functions, nor can the citizens exercise their rights of self-government under such conditions.” (The Proper Role of Government, read here)

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