Yea! Whoopee! Hooray! Peachy Keen! And all those words of delight, happiness and joy.
Finally somebody (other than Mr. Blair, a fellow columnist) responded to my writings, raves and rants. Hats off to you Mr. Dexter Pugh. Mr. Pugh, recall that I have a stated goal of stamping out apathy. Thanks for helping. I have not had the pleasure of meeting you but I hope that will be rectified in the near future. However, Mr. Pugh you missed the point of my ranting in the August 2nd column. If you recall, I wrote that I didn’t necessarily support the “How about” questions but that the purpose of the questions were to spur on creative thinking by the City Manager and City Council. I have polled numerous citizens and no one was able to name a City Manager who was a visionary leader. Guthrie City Managers, including Ms. Breland, have historically turned to revenue increases in feeble attempts to solve Guthrie’s many problems. Mr. Pugh, I am not advocating the demise of the Guthrie police department, I am advocating the birth of vision, creativity and courage by our elected officials. I think Bill O’Reily would approve of that last sentence, don’t you?
On to other things! Mr. Davis, where have you been? I sure hope the statement that was attributed to you in the August 14th issue of the Guthrie News Leader was a miss quote. You allegedly stated that “We have not taken care of our infrastructure needs and we’re so many years behind that we have no other choice but to apply this tax to annual operations and not specific projects”.
Holy Moly, Batman! The City’s propaganda machine indicates that a portion of the sales tax increase will be for capital improvements and a portion for salary increases. Who is right here; The City sponsored literature or Mr. Davis? I am confused.
Mr. Davis, I got questions. Do you mean that 100% of the new revenue generated by this sales tax increase proposal is going into operations? I thought we were going to see some “capital” improvements. Do you mean that when the City gets this new money, it is going to be business as usual? Secondly Mr. Davis, we have improved the infrastructure in our fair city. What do you call the new airport? What do you call the 80 acres that we bought to house Bar-S? What do you call the $8.00 per month that we pay on our water bill to repair the sewer lines? What do you call the new $15,000,000 water treatment plant? What do you call the “new” City Hall that public works money was used to construct? What do you call the new walking trails at Highland Park? What do you call the water line and water tower built for Langston? What needed infrastructure things are you referring to?
My last rant of the day!!! Why in the world does Guthrie need a $500,000 “Heavy Duty Rescue Truck”? If my math is correct, that computes to a tax of $50 per person who lives in the city limits of Guthrie. Think about it; that is a $200 tax for a family of four. Do we really need it? I could not help but notice that our City Council and City Managers, better known as “spin masters”, have changed the wording on the sales tax proposal hype from “Heavy Duty Rescue Truck” to “a fire truck”. Why the wording change?
My really last rant! Why no sunset clause? Even Oklahoma City’s MAPS programs all had a sunset clause (an ending date).
Here is some compelling data for you to digest as you prepare to vote on August 26th.
In 1980, Guthrie collected $1,051,018 in sales tax revenue (7 months at 2% tax rate and 3% for 5 months), with estimated Retail Sales of $43,535,383. The year 1980 was the infamous year when the event that will live in infamy occurred, Guthrie voters voted for a 1% sales tax but defeated the earmarking of the tax to build Bear Creek Reservoir. In 1980, there were 11,133 residents of Guthrie.
In the year 2012, Guthrie collected sales tax revenue of $3,974,731, with estimated retail sales of $132,491,033. There were 10,483 city residents that year.
Here is the rub; In 32 years, sales tax revenue increased $2,923,713 yet the number of Guthrians decreased by 650 people. So, I ask you, “What should be the focus of our city leaders, increasing revenue or increasing the number of people”? Seems to me the revenue is increasing nicely but we are losing folks.
Ronald Reagan taught us that you increase “revenue” by decreasing “taxes”. He called in “Trickle Down” economics.
A famous quote by a one term Republican President who said “Read my Lips No New Taxes”, comes to mind when I think of our city leaders. Oops!
What pray tell, has the city budgeteers (my new word of the week) done with all of our money. I am unable to think of or point to anything that we have in 2014 that we didn’t have in 1980. Can you?
Want to give these big spenders more money to spend? I say “Let’m Starve”?
Let’s be bold and petition the city to change its motto to “Do Less with Less”
Remember, Government has an insatiable appetite for your money!
All opinions expressed are those of Allan Jobe, influenced by 60 years of Republicanism, who believes and adheres to the Republican platform of “Do Less with Less”. You may contact Mr. Jobe at firstname.lastname@example.org
*The data quoted was taken from a report written on September 12, 2012, entitled ANALYSIS OF RETAIL SALES AND TAXABLE SALES FOR GUTHRIE, OKLAHOMA, written by Cathy James, Logan County Extension Director, OSU, Guthrie, OK and Dave Shideler, Extension Economist, OSU, Stillwater, OK