Our View: Keeping promises

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After elections, it's common to ask politicians to keep campaign promises. But this time, we're asking voters to keep theirs.

Voters last week soundly defeated a tax increase that would have paid for services for people with mental retardation.

Referendum 1B asked voters to approve a tax increase of 1 mill, which would have cost taxpayers $12 yearly on a house with an assessed value of $150,000.

The tax would have benefited Horizons Specialized Services, a nonprofit group offering services to people with mental disabilities.

If voters had approved 1B, Horizons' operating budget would have increased by about $350,000 a year in Moffat County.

The cost to taxpayers could hardly be defined as a hardship.

But for referendum detractors, it was the principal of the matter. They're "no" vote, they said, wasn't leveled at Horizons, but at government entities they say habitually misspend tax dollars.

Some promised to support Horizons, but not 1B.

One reader, in a Craig Daily Press forum entry, said: "People are sick of being lied to about their taxes. Yea for the "no" vote. Oh yeah, and I'll pitch in my $20 for the Horizon people."

That sounds like a promise. Because although voters were sending a message to government, Horizons is the group that suffers.

With additional funding, Horizons said it had hoped to provide services for six people on its waiting list. There are 15 people on the list, but only six need services immediately.

A community is measured by how it takes care of its neediest. It's one thing for people to reject a tax they think is wrong. It's another to ignore the needs of its own.

We hope voters, no matter how they felt about 1B, keep their promises and support Horizons with financial contributions.

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