Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ah Yes, For The Arts

Here they go again. Taxes that is. They're going up juuuust a smidgen. Nothing for you to worry about. You won't even notice it. Nothing to see here, move along. It's only a 0.375 percent general sales and use tax increase. You voted for it and it'll only last tmfvmpfh years. How many years? tmfvmpfh. All right....TWENTY FIVE YEARS. But, in twenty five years it'll be dropped....right? (I crack myself up sometimes)
The rate will increase from 6.5 percent to 6.875 percent. Not a big deal, right? Considering it's for protecting drinking water sources; protect, enhance and restore our wetlands, prairies, forests and fish, game and wildlife habitat; preserve arts and cultural heritage; support parks and trails; and protect, enhance and restore our lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater.
Hold yer horses. Haven't we already allotted money for all those things in our budget? Why, yes we have. Haven't we already raised our taxes for all those things in recents elections? Why, yes we have. That sounds like a recent campaign slogan. Yes it does.
Who gets to decide how much of that money goes to prairies, how much goes to trails and how much goes to preserve arts and cultural heritage? No one, that's who. It's not like this money is kept seperate from the other incoming taxes. It's all thrown into one great big pile. That's right. It's all in a big pile in the deep, deep recesses of the Capital building. Whenever people representing those factions want some money, Maggie Kelliher grabs her scoopshovel and heads for the basement. Well, sometime last summer, she went down there to load up her wheelbarrow for a real fancy schmancy drinking fountain and actually found the bottomless pit empty. Not to dismay, she knew what to do. That is why we voted her in, right?
She ran down the halls of the Capital screaming "our drinking water, our drinking water." Apparently it worked because our little elected officials put their heads together, in a bipartisan way, (I really do crack myself up) and decided we needed to raise taxes. They knew taxpayers wouldn't go for raising taxes just for a fountain so they had to make it sound earthy or for our health or for the little guy.
That's how they came up with this latest tax increase. The people in Southwestern Minnesota, from where I grew up, are really going to put this money to use. That little town with a bar/diner, community center and grain elevater will really thrive once this money starts flowing. They will be so happy they voted for their new cultural heritage prairie fountain.

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