Friday, December 28, 2012

Glendale, My Washing Machine And $23,000 To Rotate A Statue"

                                                   
This is a tale of a washing machine...but really not.  It's really about the idiocy and greed of government and how government officials will simply not handle taxpayer money with the same care they might manage their own money.  .Let me explain.

Last week my washer went out on me.  I went over to Home Depot in Glendale, Arizona and I bought the cheapest washer they had in stock.  The washer retails for $324 dollars.  But because Home Depot gives a ten percent discount to active and retired military that price was reduced to $305.00 dollars.  Then, the city took it's cut of the transaction in assessed sales tax on that cheap washer...the out the door price climbed to $324.00 dollars.  That one single sales transaction yielded the city of Glendale $19 bucks and they didn't have to lift a hand to earn it.

Now, try to imagine how many thousands of sales transactions occur in a single day in Glendale, Arizona's 3rd largest city!  Now multiply those thousands of daily sales transactions by 365 days in the year!  Truly impressive tax collecting, huh?

Now, if that were the only source of city revenue perhaps I could understand each one of those greedy sales transaction grabs that ultimately puts a real crimp in my wallet.  But it never stops there does it boys and girls?  Glendale also assesses a fee for any official transaction that occurs in their jurisdiction, fees for building permits, title transfers, and hundreds of other transactions!

Still not enough boys and girls!  Glendale gets a healthy cut of your property taxes too!  And let's not forget they'll tax you on the gas and electric coming into your home and the gas going into your car's gas tank and they'll tax you to license your dog!

Okay, wow!  Glendale must be doing good things with all those taxes, right?  Well, let's see.  A few years ago Glendale decided they just had to save a failing Hockey franchise, a franchise whose arena was funded by, guess who?  Yep...good ole Glendale.   But to do so would require their taking a 50% ownership of the team.  So Glendale put up tens of millions of taxpayer money to buy a 50% stake in the team.  Sadly, the team is still losing money and the city is expected to chip in more millions in an effort to save the money they've already invested in this losing proposition.

Was that a poor decision by Glendale's government leaders?  Without a shadow of a doubt.  But wait!  It gets worse.  An Indian tribe owns land in Glendale.  They want to build an Indian casino.  The project will create tens of thousands of construction jobs and nearly two thousand jobs for Glendale residents to work in the casino.  The local government runs a survey and find that 80% of residents approve of having the casino.  Glendale nixes the project.  When the Indian tribe cite their legal rights to build Glendale takes it to the courts.  Each court decision goes against the city as they spend $7 million dollars appealing to higher courts.  They continue to lose.  Now Glendale has said they'll fund this appeal all the way to the Supreme Court even at the cost of further millions in legal fees!  Brilliant, huh?

And then, this week we learn that a bronze statue of firefighters and police is not facing in the right direction (the firefighters are in front, facing outward, while the police are relegated to the rear, facing inward.  The city has determined that they must correct this oversight; thus they are allocating $23,000 dollars to rotate the statue 160 degrees!  (http://www.kpho.com/story/20387733/glendale-to-spend-23k-to-rotate-outdoor-statue)

So, when I pulled that money out of my wallet the other day, when I wondered why the city needed to jump in and collect a huge hunk of sales tax, my question has been answered.  Unlike the rest of us, who must watch how we spend every cent, government, big and small, has no such worries.

Sad.  Damned Sad.

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