She has questions before supporting tax hike

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BY TONY CHEONG: Westminster is on the verge of bankruptcy.

The city is in the vice-grip of a $5.3 million deficit.

In June, the City Council, buy a 4-1 vote, made the predictable, here-we-go-again move, agreeing to place on the Nov. 8 ballot a proposal to raise the city sales tax by 1 percent for the next six years.

Why the deficit?

City officials say what all city officials say in these situations: the state is robbing our coffers.

As any regular reader of my column knows, I have questions before I'll get on board with raising taxes.

BY TONY CHEONG: Westminster is on the verge of bankruptcy.

The city is in the vice-grip of a $5.3 million deficit.

In June, the City Council, buy a 4-1 vote, made the predictable, here-we-go-again move, agreeing to place on the Nov. 8 ballot a proposal to raise the city sales tax by 1 percent for the next six years.

Why the deficit?

City officials say what all city officials say in these situations: the state is robbing our coffers.

As any regular reader of my column knows, I have questions before I'll get on board with raising taxes.

First, can you show voters how the state has taken money to such a degree that your budget is in a ditch?

Second, given that cities are always claiming victimhood at the hands of the state and then raising taxes higher and higher ad infinitum, why, city leaders, don't you plan your spending accordingly, meaning extremely cautiously?

Lastly, is it government's place to interfere with a businessman's or businesswoman's arrangement with his or her customer?

An increased sales tax will affect buyers’ habits. That affects businesses — small businesses, especially  — and employees, who might find themselves unemployed due to cutbacks.

I know, I know.

It's only 1 percent.

But taxing businesses, customers and personal income is almost always incremental. 1 percent here, 3 percent there, and pretty soon American consumers are being taxed up to their necks and households — such as mine -– are giving 36 percent of their hard-earned money to Uncle Sam.

I'm not taking an absolute position.

All I'm saying to Westminster City Council members is to show us how and where the state has put you in this position and why you haven't prepared for it.

Westminster taxpayers deserve that much.

Do you have a question, comment or news tip for Tony? Send to tonyontown@yahoo.com.