Project: Reader Reaction
A recent Project: Reader Reaction question focused on a proposed sales-tax increase to fund the Ute Water pipeline project and other Clovis infrastructure needs. Some responses:
“Every time a government official has a challenge, his immediate solution to the problem is to throw money at it. Of course there are no funds in the coffer so they resort to more taxes. I have to manage my available resources and one of my obligations is taxes. Now suppose I mismanage my money and can’t pay my taxes. Is the solution to my dilemma to go ask my boss for more money? Now that is the problem as I see it. They need to learn to manage the money we give them and not just keep asking for more.” — Denver Jones, Clovis
“I think you get what you pay for. If Clovis (we the people) want to curb the water shortage, which is eminent, and keep the city’s infrastructure in good shape, we need to provide the needed funding. We all know the water is an important issue. But there’s more.
“I was talking with Clovis Fire Chief Ron Edwards. He told me … the department’s main vehicle was over 20 years old and no longer meets … requirements. The replacement cost for that one vehicle is about $600,000.
“The mayor was upfront with how the money would be spent: ‘The tax revenue would fund expenses under the Ute Water Pipeline Project, residential street improvements, storm water drainage systems, police and fire vehicles and equipment and waste water treatment plant expansion…’ That’s from a CNJ front-page article.
“I say let’s support this issue and give the city the resources it needs.” — Bob Baker, Clovis
“If we are going to have a tax hike I would rather see the extra money go toward the police department, fire department and animal shelter. I don’t mind the sales tax hike if the money is used for the good of Clovis. We need to give our police, firemen and animal control agents a raise, not only to keep them, but to hire more. These agencies are spread thin now and need help. Let’s keep our priorities in order.” — Ardyth Elms, Clovis
“We don’t seem to have much choice on this one. Water is so fundamental. On the farm during the Depression, we didn’t have electricity or gas, but we had water and survived. I believe that this issue would best be resolved by considering it alone.” — Harold Burris, Clovis
“It’s not a bad idea for voting on a tax increase for the Ute water project because we will need the water if we intend to grow as a city. However, the infrastructure needs to look closer at what is happening to the accountability of all the monies now. … The thing to do is manage the available resources and not ask for more just yet. Like most people, we manage our money because we are on a limited income and need to pay our obligations with what we have. This is not only a personal thing, but does include the city, county, state and federal government as far as tax dollars are concerned.” — Gerald Majewski, Clovis
“The proposed hike in sales tax is a good idea and we should vote for it. Sales tax is the fairest way to raise revenue.” — John Frey, Clovis
“The tax is to support the Ute pipeline for water, right? How can we be sure that an increase in sales tax goes directly into the Ute project? If the economy keeps increasing here (and a sales tax increase will do nothing but put a damper on that rise in the economy), will the city really track the increase from a higher tax and use it for Ute?
“How often has a tax been identified for one issue, and no one really established that the revenues actually went to that issue? How often have the revenues just gone in the pot, with no direct correlation between added income and the outgo? A good cause is often used to get the populace to increase a general tax, but the means to collect, audit, and use the designated tax increase must be in place to get the proper benefit.
“I think it would be more appropriate to tax water use specifically and apply those revenues to the pipeline project. The money would be easier to count, identify, and designate.” — Carolyn Spence, Clovis
“If the agriculture industry utilizes 96 percent of the annual water supply, and the city residents utilize 4 percent of the annual water supply, why are the residents being asked to pay for a pipeline? The city residents hardly put a dent in the annual water supply, yet we’re asked to foot the bill to maintain our measly 4 percent usage? This is backwards to me.” — Richard Lopes, Clovis
“Increasing the sales tax to fund the Ute Water project is one thing but the other infrastructure needs are another story. If the city wants to use sales taxes for the Ute project, it should be a separate, stand-alone issue for the voters. The other needs should be enumerated and put before the voters to stand on their own.” — Auggie Jones, Clovis