Park Tax District Threat to Family Homes
Grants Pass Organizations Promote Tax
The Observer is ashamed of the Grants Pass City Council. They endorsed a dangerous property tax on family homes. They state in their ad, "The creation of this district is a result of 200 of your neighbors working together to solve a problem that wonít go away." The 200 fail to have basic human compassion for homeowners and are willing to use the threat of foreclosure on family homes to compel annual payments for their social agenda. They donít solve problems they create new ones and flunk the good neighbor test.
The Observer is ashamed of the Grants Pass Chamber of Commerce and Dwight Ellis, their Executive Director. They argue that, "Everyday life can be stressful, Work, family obligations, traffic jams, bills Ė these are stress factors, which harm your health. Recreation safety decreases those stress levels." Mr. Ellis doesnít mention that we are in an economic recession and that Josephine County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state of Oregon. Mr. Ellis also fails to mention the morality of a tax on family homes, and the greatest stress of all when a homeowner doesnít have the money to pay the taxes. That is real stress, Mr. Ellis. Sitting in the park isnít going to pay your taxes.
The Observer is ashamed of the Grants Pass Association of Realtors who urge a yes vote on parks. They say, "Donít cheat yourself and those considering moving to this area. The communities and citizens of Josephine County will suffer without parks." This group of business people appears to be a self-serving bunch with their hands out in attempting to use the publicly funded parks as a means to increase their sales and incomes. If this park-taxing district fails, the parks arenít going to close their gates as implied in their statement. Itís ironic that those who make a living selling homes are unfriendly to home ownership. They are promoting a tax on the homes they sell.
And last on the list the Observer is ashamed of both Eric Smith of Orange Torpedo Trips and Martin Seybold, Chairmen, Three Rivers School District Board of Directors. They both endorsed another tax on family homes. It should be pointed out Mr. Smith earns money from tourists so his position on the issue could be considered self-serving and not to be trusted. Mr. Seybold blatantly uses his position as chairman of the school board in attempting to influence voters to pay for his park taxing agenda. Mr. Seyboldís position is also suspect and not to be trusted. Neither of these individuals gave the slightest indication in their endorsement that they have any interest in the ability of homeowners to pay for another property tax. A Park Taxing District promotes their social agenda.
ObserverRecommends a "No" Vote on all Property Taxes
In support of the Observerís position an October 17th newspaper headline in the Grants Pass Daily Courier reads, "Number of hungry in Oregon still growing. Oregon remains the hungriest state in the nation per capita and the number of hungry people continues to grow, Oregon Food bank said Wednesday, Ö The organization blamed high unemployment and low wage jobs and said it distributed food boxes to more than 720,000 people in the year ending June 30." Based on facts like this, the Daily Courier, a daily newspaper, recently ran a headline regarding the Park Taxing District, "Moneyís too tight to justify funding a parks district." In recommending a no vote on the park district they state, "Still, they fall into the "nice-to-have rather than the "must-have," when compared with things such as public safety and fire protection. Thatís why we recommend a "no" on the parks district."
The Oregon Observer finds most of the reasons these organizations list for funding parks valid, but their means of paying for parks seriously flawed. The Observer is not opposed to good parks, libraries and remodeling the old hospital for county use. However, the Observer can not in good conscience approve any property taxes on family homes to support public parks or for any other purpose. The property tax is set up in the form of coercion to force payment of taxes. Over a period of time non-payment of taxes for whatever reasons results in eviction and sale of the home to the highest bidder. Family homes must be protected from those blind to constitutional rights and who are without compassion for the elderly, retired, those on fixed incomes, low and middle-income residents, and renters. It should be a basic human right for all individuals to be able to live in a home with dignity and without burdensome and threatening property taxes. A man has a basic right to be secure in his home without the threat of his neighbor using it for collateral to pay for his social agenda. For these reasons the Observer recommends a "noí vote on the Park Taxing District and all other measures funded by property taxes.