Property tax data

I understand the County Snoop, aka Anna Marsolo, was rather perplexed with my three-minute presentation on Agenda Item #1. I stated that what was presented on property tax was a rough order of magnitude estimate.

Here is some confirming data:
• The assumption being made is that Cave Creek does not expand commercial development, basically remaining a bedroom community.
• The water company remains self sustaining, i.e. it covers it’s own debt service as well as operations and continued scheduled improvements.
That means the property tax will cover police, fire, trash collection, and all remaining debt service which includes the new waste water treatment plant. The amount required to be covered based on the current budget is $13.5 million.

An additional assumption is the state will impact municipalities by either a moratorium on impact fees and/or withdrawing state revenue sharing. Since we will need to cover $13.5 million of our current $39+ million budget and there are 2,255 residences/households with 2.27 persons per household, simple arithmetic makes the average property tax $6,000 per year or $500 per month. This data was extrapolated from the last census by the county.

Since property tax is based on the appraised value of the property it will vary for each property. The current average value of a residence in Cave Creek is $450,000. The tax rate will be in the vicinity of 10 percent. This is an estimate that is made with some assumptions because if a municipality was to attempt to install a property tax it would have to make the initial tax rate adequate to support current and midterm requirements. The community would have to do this to keep from constantly raising the rate, those rate increases are controlled by state statutes. Therefore the municipality would look out a number of years to allow for future requirements.

Cave Creek is a low density community and the costs of maintaining the health, safety and welfare of its citizens are more per individual household than more dense communities. It is the economic law of scale. Having said all that I stand by my original rough order of magnitude estimate. However, I do not think the citizens of Cave Creek would vote for a property tax, I would not. Property taxes are regressive and they, in 99 percent of the cases, never go away. In fact they grow. It is absolutely disgusting that the majority of those calling for a property tax do not live in Cave Creek. The most disingenuous of all is Anna Marsolo.

George Ross | Cave Creek

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That’s illegal!

It is my understanding that when using radar, police are to be in “plain view.”

The deputy sheriffs hide every way possible, even going so far as to park in left and right turn only lanes in order to hide behind the rows of trees along Cave Creek Road, from Carefree Highway going north to Cave Creek.

This is illegal for you and me – to park and hide like that and it’s also illegal for them, unless it is an emergency with lights flashing, etc.

They also do U-turns on the same road, turning into oncoming traffic in order to hide from oncoming traffic behind trees and brush. That’s illegal! Don’t believe it? Try parking as described in any of these examples.

How desperate can they get to ensure a pay check?

Ken DePue | Cave Creek

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Carefree police traps

Last Thursday at 2:40 p.m. while I was heading east on Cave Creek Road, I stopped at the stop sign at Mule Train. I considered it to be a perfectly legal stop. However, the cop that was hiding down the side road by Carefree Resort determined that I did not come to a full chassis-jerking stop and instead of giving me a warning, which would have been reasonable since I had a clean driving record, wrote me a $150 ticket, and advised me that I could attend on-line traffic school instead for an additional $200+.

Due to the fact that I'm leaving for 3 months, I may not be able to continue my trial date to defend myself against this ludicrous ticket. It is the equivalent of giving someone a speeding ticket for going one mile over the speed limit. From what I gather, Carefree is so desperate for revenue that they are cracking down on and discouraging the very customers the businesses rely on.

What they may fail to understand is that if people refuse to go into Carefree because of the enforcement of the overly-aggressive traffic laws, the businesses go under, and the City's taxes disappear as well.

I'm not for breaking the law; however, there is such a thing as common sense. Carefree has a reputation for ticket-writing cops and entrapment. If I have to pay the ticket, I will not be doing any more business in Carefree, and that will hurt the small business owners.

Sandra Morrison | Via e-mail

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Look at some hard facts

Let's set aside all the whining and rhetoric about Walmart and look at some hard facts. Fact: it has been estimated that Cave Creek will go bankrupt in 18 months if the town doesn't get a big shot of revenue, which Walmart can provide. Fact: the only other option is jacking up property taxes. I believe triple the current rate was mentioned. Fact: the registered voters of Cave Creek came out in record numbers to vote for pro-Walmart candidates in March.
I attended the first Walmart neighborhood meeting. At that time a small group of homeowners who live near the site held an ad hoc meeting in the church where the Walmart presentation took place. The second meeting a week later was quite different. Those same self-appointed "leaders of preservation," whom we all know so well had, in one week, muscled into this little group and taken charge.

It's ironic that most of these "Spokespersons for the Good of Cave Creek" happen not to live in Cave Creek. The majority live in Carefree, Scottsdale, Phoenix and the county. Now they are busily organizing a referendum. If their pointless referendum stalls the groundbreaking of the Walmart store, they won't be the ones whose property taxes suddenly triple, or whose town goes bankrupt.

This anti-Walmart referendum is, in fact, simply that. A stall. If the issue is put to the voters of Cave Creek, the very same voters who voted overwhelmingly for a pro-Walmart Town Council, it will fail. And the instigators know it will fail. The Walmart spokesman stated that "if there are no delays, they can have the store up and running in 12 months." If this referendum is filed and won't be voted on until November, this would delay groundbreaking five months. Add it up. This delay would take us to the very brink of bankruptcy.

I've watched these self-appointed "leaders of preservation" in action time and time again. They not only oppose for the sake of opposing, they even battle amongst themselves. I'm the leader! No, I'm the leader!! I've heard them out in the parking lot screaming at each other. Big fish in a small pond, all fighting over crumbs. They would sacrifice this town over their petty egos.

It's time for them to stop interfering. They don't seem to care that they will bring Cave Creek to it’s knees, they only care about being Top Fish. If this referendum goes up for a vote, I have confidence in our voters. We will not only vote Walmart up, we will vote THEM down! Hopefully, once and for all.

Sharon McCarthy | Cave Creek

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Enough, already!

De mortuis, nil nisi bonum (of the dead, say nothing but good things). I cannot.

Once again, the maudlin media are awash in morbid fixation on the death of a pop figure. People of all ages wailed when Elvis died by his own hand, slowly. Then, Anna Nicole Smith – ditto. Now Michael Jackson – ditto.

He was a talented but weird showperson. Living proof that you may be whatever you want to be in America. Jackson transformed himself from a poor black boy from the ghetto into a rich white woman, passing through several incarnations (mostly surgical) into a light-skinned Diana Ross, and then a clone of Liz Taylor, sans the blue eyes. Jackson de-Africanized himself through lip-thinning, nose-sharpening surgery and skin bleaching, revealing himself as a self-hating black.

The law was unkind to Jackson: there were multiple accusations of pedophilia, some of which he settled out of court for millions of dollars. He was never seen with little girls; his preference was small boys, many of whom spent the night in his bedroom, on his bed. His mansion is covered with photos and illustrations of blond, blue-eyed boys.

Sorry, but his evident talent is trumped by his nasty, sleazy lifestyle.

As Oscar Brand sings, in his "Bawdy Songs and Backroom Ballads,"
'Just dig a ditch, and bury the b_tch,'
said Barnacle Bill the Sailor ...

J-P. A. Maldonado | Phoenix

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Keep up the good work

Don, your attack editorial and front-page article in your June 24 issue insults all of us who voted for Councilman Adam Trenk. You clearly think that those who voted for Adam are weak minded, unthinking and easily influenced and ignorant individuals. This is not the description of any Cave Creeker that I know.

In fact, I think that the vendetta you waged against Adam actually increased his visibility and gained him more votes. Keep up the good work and Adam will soon be our next Cave Creek mayor.

Stephen E. Sample | Cave Creek

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Here we go

Are we going to hear "ad nauseam" about the Cave Creek Town Council election, the amount of election funds Adam Trenk had, etc.????

Your paper is repetitive, mean spirited and knee-jerk in its editorials and articles. There are many thoughtful people in Cave Creek who would not be embarrassed to give your ideas some thought if you didn't label people derogatively. (i.e. I think I'll scream if you use the "Jimmy" oh, I mean "Janet" cliché, among others, again.)

It is small-minded and mean spirited and carries no weight except to touch the minds of other small-minded people.

Here's a thought: Don, you may very well have guaranteed the election of Adam Trenk due to the backlash within the community against your tirades and meanness.

B. Walters | Cave Creek

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In response to the Hoeppner Guest Editorial

This letter is in response to the Opinions Column on page A-4 of the June 24 issue of Sonoran News and the Guest Editorial by John Hoeppner concerning Walmart.

While I certainly have opinions on the positive and negative effects of locating the Walmart in our town, that is not the reason for writing. My reason is to get to a realistic amount of revenue that Cave Creek can expect from Walmart.

I believe the revenue stream to the Cave Creek coffers of $3,000,000 per year is very misleading.

Consider this: Walmart is projecting sales of almost double what they do in the rest of the U.S.

I accessed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s database of all registered filing for public companies and I extracted the following information on Walmart.

Walmart, as of fiscal year end January 31, 2009, had 891 discount stores (average size 108,000 sq. ft.) and 153 neighborhood stores (average size 42,000 sq. ft.). Since Walmart does not split out the sales revenue per store size we have to use the overall sales in the U.S. of $255,745,000,000 (that’s billions). This breaks down to sales per year per square foot of $395.69.

Walmart’s generating revenue for Cave Creek of $3,000,000 per year would mean that our 3 percent sales tax would come from $100,000,000 in sales. So now, if we take the $100,000,000 in projected sales, the per square foot (proposed to be 128,000) revenue for Walmart would be $781.25 per year. Wow!

If this store is average for Walmart the revenue for the Town of Cave Creek would more likely be $1,520,000 per year. Quite a difference I would say. It would probably be much less for a while.

Consider also that 49 percent of Walmart’s sales are from groceries. Just food for thought.

Will Pearson | Business owner of property in Cave Creek

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Steve Jobs would die under the Obama plan

If President Obama’s health plan were in effect today Apple founder Steve Jobs would probably die. No one knows just how Jobs managed to get a new liver but we can probably assume that it had something to do with his wealth. Under the Obama plan this would not be considered “fair” and, therefore, Jobs would have to wait in line for an organ transplant with everyone else. The lesson for the rest of us is that, unless you are poor (the “disadvantaged” will likely be favored) and you are not deemed to be “too old” AND you are in the front of the line, you should be very worried if you ever need an organ transplant. The Obama health plan is a big step toward rationing of health care.

Roy Miller | Phoenix

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President Obama got it right

Let’s acknowledge when President Obama gets it right as he did when he said that it does not matter who wins the election in Iran. President Obama has the advantage of being educated in an Islamic school so he knows that the Islamic government of Iran must follow the teachings of the Qu’ran which can never be changed. Those teachings include the subjugation of the Jews, the Christians and all other infidels.
So yes, as long as Iran is governed by the religious authorities, it matters not who is elected to the powerless position of president.

Jack C. McVickers | Scottsdale

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Please keep up your position on Walmart

Mayor Francia, I know Carefree is putting on a lot of pressure, which is very interesting, seeing that they placed on their "fringe" Lowe’s, which for all practical purposes is in Cave Creek, and that was OK with them, since it was on their fringe.

Now they seek to impose their will on Cave Creek. Too one sided. Their arguments in their letter to you are filled with gobbledygook.

Lowe’s is on their fringe and they get the sales tax money without Lowe’s actually being in their midst.

As for the darksiders in Cave Creek, if you tell them what day it is, they will disagree with you. Sometimes you just have to ignore their "NOs."

Rudy Williams | Cave Creek

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Kiddy porn

Dear Ms. Fenger, after reading your article “Kiddy porn” I feel the need for an Adderall tablet or two.

Have you considered that it was the people in charge of GM, replete with Harvard Business degrees and fancy board affiliations, who drove it into the ground? How would more of the same be any different? Young, brilliant and inexperienced upstarts with something to prove are not responsible for a single bailout in this country. Your analysis focuses on a record not yet written and ignores the realities of the past.

Another thing: Since I hired Barrack Hussein Obama to run my country, I expect him to micro-manage my money ... period. If that means putting his foot down for the greater good or hiring outsiders with a fresh un-purchased outlook, then so be it. He has my and most of our country's permission.

You say you don't want environmentalists designing vehicles because they would be too dangerous. Ponder what would happen if a major oil field was nuked tomorrow and the world oil supply severely reduced.

How long after that until America crumbles like blue cheese? Vehicle sturdiness would be meaningless. That is the position of weakness and susceptibility our oil addiction has left us with, and the terrorists know it. America deserves better. I guess we could enjoy our $1600-dollar tomato imported from California while living in our sturdy vehicles.

David Swanson | Via e-mail

P.S. I am for DDT use. Where do you live and we'll get spraying right away?

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