IN SIMPLE TERMS
(The opinions expressed in the column are those of the writer. The Journal does not necessarily support or endorse those opinions)
By BOBBIE McAULIFFE
On April 3rd 2012 voters in Poteau are asked to go to the polls and approve (or deny) our City Council request to impose a five percent tax on visitors to our area staying in motels and RV parks.
Operators will be required to collect these taxes and turn them over to the City Clerk on the last day of every month, and penalized if they fail to do so.
Two percent of the taxes collected will be deposited in the General Fund to be used for enforcement of this ordinance. The remaining 98 percent of the taxes will be used by the Council to adopt plans, policies, and programs to encourage family recreation, fitness, health and fun in and around the City of Poteau; and to construct, upkeep, operate and maintain the facilities.
The 11-plus page ordinance also states that if any court declares the ordinance to be invalid, the tax will be collected anyway and put in the General Revenue Fund, and there is language that if the voters approve the ordinance, they also give permission to the Council to change their collective mind on how to use the money.
I am opposed to this tax because I believe it is not a function of government to provide recreation and entertainment. What this represents to me is more government dependence and more government control.
There are at least two generations of people depending on government for their real needs, and now government is offering to provide recreation and entertainment too.
For the kids my foot! When I was a kid we walked barefoot two miles down a dirt road to go swimming in the creek, and we kept it a clean and safe place to play. We got together in groups and played monopoly and dominoes. We had chores.
I will be voting NO! on Prop 4 and urging everyone to do the same. If you are thinking of voting YES, I can only say “Be careful what you wish for”.
A government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have.