BY DON SORCHYCH | APRIL 11, 2012
Vote NO on property tax
The presidential election this fall will be the most important election in our country’s history. As soon as there is a final choice of a Republican candidate we will concentrate on beating Obama. In the meanwhile, we have an urgent local vote to consider.
The issue is a public vote authorizing, or not, a property tax for purposes of fire protection. How did a town which prides itself on keeping Cave Creek Cave Creek even consider something as foreign and bureaucratic as a property tax?
I will tell you how. This newspaper and hordes of people went to the well to save Spur Cross Ranch from development. The only course to raise $12 million was a tax. Promises were many and varied by town officials – variations like we will never come to you again for a property tax, never. Well they lied.
About a year ago council decided to pass on authorizing a public vote for a property tax. The heroes who voted it down were Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch, and Councilmen Dick Esser, Ralph Mozilo and Adam Trenk.
Mozilo and Trenk left the council and were replaced by Shelly Anderson and Thomas McGuire. The new heroes who voted against a property tax were Mayor Vincent Francia, Bunch and Esser. The two newbies voted for it as did the two council attorneys, Jim Bruce and Steve Lamar. You may want to note that for the 2013 election.
Clearly the current council majority has no respect for their predecessors.
The whole concept is flawed and Town Manager Usama Abujbarah has not given full disclosure. The $1.3 million he suggested was needed was a direct steal from Carefree and bears no relationship to the needs of Cave Creek. His calculations show a substantial reduction over subscription costs, but ignore increases needed for hydrants and expansion to the west annexed property.
It also is robbing vacant land owners; most of them don’t live here and therefore can’t vote. That is taxation without representation which is about as un-American as you can get.
I hope voters realize property taxes are based upon the property value and the assessor’s judgment about appraised value is often flawed. I know local property owners who file against the assessor’s evaluation every year.
Vacant land owners enjoy low rates charged by Rural/Metro and many do not pay for fire coverage, a choice they won’t have with a property tax.
Rural/Metro promised to provide a sales executive to sell more subscriptions and they have. Notice their introduction on page two.
You no doubt have noticed “Yes” and “No” signs populating our streets. Both campaigns appeared to be in violation of statute and the pro-property tax people filed a complaint against the anti-property tax faction. A counter complaint was filed by the anti-property tax people who replaced their signs with compliant ones. As of today, April 9, pro-property tax signs remain non-compliant.
Linda Bentley’s front page article explains who the players are in detail. But it is significant the chairman of the “Yes” folks is also the president of the HOA in Rancho Mañana. Do you think people living in an enclave with an HOA care about Cave Creek remaining Cave Creek?
Furthermore, the HOA group could arrange for fire protection with Rural/Metro if they chose and not ruin the rest of the town.
Who in their right mind would vote for any tax, let alone the worst of all taxes, a property tax? Currently you have a choice; with a property tax you are in the hands of an assessor and have no choice. The town’s claim of a reduced cost of fire protection is a fleeting savings that will increase and increase and there is nothing you will be able to do about it because you will be in the hands of an uncaring bureaucracy.
Don’t listen to the siren songs of HOA driven people. Think about Cave Creek, the town that knows how and when to say “No!”