Monday, April 17, 2017

Just give us our money

This month's Antigravity features a look at how little of the bounty produced by the city's "economic engine" actually gets allocated to benefit the city’s residents. As others have been pointing out for years, most of the tax revenue generated through the the hotel/motel tax only goes right back into tourism related infrastructure and marketing. And, of course,  the industry itself is more accurately described as an inequality where a small circle of politically powerful owners and speculators squeeze profits out of low wage, non union workers.

Oddly, the AG article skims these issues and focuses too much on lauding  the conservative "reform" non-profit Bureau of Governmental Research and its crusade against any and all dedicated tax allocations. BGR's proposal to just blow everything up and start all over is problematic from a policy standpoint It's a sloppy, almost Trump-like move to flip the table and declare a big do over. Also, from a political standpoint, many of these dedicated millages are the on the books through direct ballot referendum. To simply invalidate all of them at once would be as undemocratic as it is unwise.

There are better ways to identify and address specific ills in the tax structure.  In this case, our objective should be to pry our public money out of the hands of the oligarchs who run the tourism racket. Let's focus on that for now.

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