Printed in the Herald-Times, August 30, 1999.
To the Editor:
How many more tax increases can we afford? First, the Monroe County Council approved a $450,000 excess levy. Now they are contemplating the creation of an unelected, unaccountable Parks Board complete with taxing authority. The proposed Parks Board would raise our taxes at least another $450,000 on top of what the council has already decided to seek by moving the county Parks Department off-budget. It seems the greed of local officials for other people's money knows no bounds.
Beyond the extra tax burden, there are other reasons why this is an extremely bad idea. The proposed Parks Board would be an unelected, unaccountable taxing entity, like the Library Board. They could raise the taxes of Monroe County residents while taxpayers have no recourse to this. By taking the Parks Department off budget and creating an unelected, unaccountable board, we would be imposing taxation without representation. One may recall that taxation without representation was one of the main reasons our Republic declared independence from England in the first place! And it is unlikely the voters will get a place at the table if a Parks Board is formed.
Naturally, the tax-loving Herald-Times supported the idea of an unelected, unaccountable Parks Board in an editorial a couple months back, leading one to wonder if the H-T editorial board understands the principles this country was founded on.
Taxpayers can take comfort that the creation of such aboard will not be easy. Either the voters have to approve it in a special referendum, or the State Legislature has to support it. We must make sure neither takes place.