Picking, choosing taxes to pay won’t work

Regarding the letter “Those who use rail should pay for upgrades”: The writer seems to fully favor a “pay per use” type of system for public services. I would like to look at other services this kind of system could provide.

Public safety: I have never used nor do I plan to use the publicly funded fire department, so I would like my portion of the property taxes I have paid to be refunded to me. I would like to only pay for the services of law enforcement as I need them. It would likely be much easier to pay a couple hundred dollars whenever I need to call them on loud and obnoxious neighbors having a pre-Fourth of July party. That would be so much better than having them sitting around just sucking up tax dollars.

Public transportation: Since I have never taken a bus or train in my life, why not give me all these years of taxes back? I am sure the poor that rely on these services are more than willing to pay more for the privilege of riding the bus. There is no way that could ever cause an issue, unless one frequents a business whose employees use public transportation as their sole means of getting to and from work.

Can I stop paying for roads and infrastructure in areas I will never visit? It is highly unlikely I will ever make it to Pasco, so I should not have to pay to keep their roads intact. If I ever do go there, I will just complain about how these places never keep their roads in good condition.

Sarcasm aside, I agree that some of the bill for the upgrades to commercially used infrastructure should be paid in part by the industries that use them. Which it is, via taxation and corporate fees.

The writer seems to believe that only users of the service should have to pay for them. To that I say: If you yield a benefit from these services then you are using them. In the case of Seattle and public transportation, I am sure that there are far less cars on the road due to heavy use of the bus and train system and therefore reducing traffic congestion. I would certainly call that a benefit.

The idea of pay-for-use is a bad libertarian concept and needs to be stamped out as it is detrimental to a civilized and productive society.

Robert Ray

Granite Falls

More in Opinion

Editorial cartoons for Sunday, Nov. 19

A sketchy look at the day in politics.… Continue reading

Editorial: School funding half-full, half-empty, but not ample

The Supreme Court says the state’s school funding plan won’t meet its deadline. So there’s work to do.

Viewpoint: How to bridge the political divide at Thanksgiving

With a little bravery and some listening skills, the holiday dinner table needn’t be a battlefield.

Commentary: Legislature hasn’t fixed teacher pay issue

Schools with larger poor and minority populations are still less capable of keeping good teachers.

Commentary: Mental health training for police is saving lives

The training ensures that officers have the tools to deescalate potentially dangerous situations.

Rampell: Corporations are better than people, in GOP’s eyes

The Republicans’ generous tax cuts for corporations will be paid by low- and middle-income people.

Will: In Illinois, battle looms over bankrupting ‘blue model’

Democratic control of its Legislature has led to population drain, budget overruns and tax hikes.

Parker: What to do after the gropers are — well — exposed

While the debate about these offenses is useful, should we put these monkeys in the same barrel?

Keillor: A day without a phone allows time for reflection

The opportunity to pretend it’s 1961 again proves that nostalgia ain’t what it used to be.

Most Read