Dave Wallace: Views on 2A clarified
In response to Andrea Camp’s letter and in defense of the point I was trying to obtain, I feel the need to clarify several items I feel may have been misinterpreted.
I want to thank Andrea for her concerns and opinion she presented with regards to my letter to the editor. I believe this type of dialog is not only healthy, but it also provides information for the community that may have otherwise been overlooked.
Andrea and her husband own and operated a local carpet and upholstery cleaning business. I have known the Camp brothers and worked with one of them for a number of years. I can assure the community the Camps are a great bunch of individuals and have worked hard to get where they are. I believe Andrea and her husband’s business is one of the best, if not the best, in their group and is very beneficial to our area.
Let me clarify several items Andrea mentioned in her letter.
- I have indeed shared some concerns and ideas about the City Park. The point in time mentioned by Andrea is when I questioned the upgrades being made to the foot and bike path located on the southwest side of the Hospital Loop, which was then being overlaid with concrete. My concern was the path that runs from the north end of the City Park to the south end. I felt the City Park path sees much more activity, and it would be of greater benefit to the community if it were the area being upgraded. My point was, if funds are available, let’s spend them in the area of greatest return. Let’s spend the funds where the entire community can see and enjoy the results. I enjoy the west side path and generally have it all to myself. I can assure you that a nice concrete path running through our City Park would be of greater benefit to our community.
- I understand there are benefits to exempting auto dealerships from sales tax, as long as you are the business owner or the individual who is actually purchasing a vehicle. I agree, it is nice to purchase a vehicle and save $1,000 in sales tax. It would make a nice contribution to a child’s college fund. My concern is not necessarily the exemption itself, but rather, the side effect that results in a 0.5 percent tax rate increase. My contention stems from forcing the residents to pay extra based on the savings some individuals will receive.
- I totally agree with Andrea’s comment about the lodging tax. I, too, believe it is outrageous. I believe it is a sad fact that residents of our community were coerced into voting in favor of it. Nevertheless, I thought my opinion was made clear in a previous letter, in which I referred to the local Lodging industry. I realize it has been shackled with an extremely high taxation, and I thought the reasonable approach would be to repeal a portion of it. I would never propose or support inflicting more pain in addition to the beating the lodging industry previously received and is currently suffering, nor do I believe it is acceptable to sucker punch visitors to our community with this ridiculously high tax. Though my immediate concern is not necessarily what has taken place or the exemption, but rather, the increased tax rate related to them. My concern focuses on the 0.5 percent “bump up” and the unnecessary burden it will place on our community residents.
I fully understand the specifics, the strategies and the motivation behind the exemptions that are included on Ballot Measure 2A. My question is, when has it become acceptable to provide exemptions that benefit some while others are burdened? Why should these exemptions benefit some children’s college fund, while others remain stagnant? And, since when has it become acceptable in this country to take advantage of our fellow Americans rather than support for them? I do have questions, though I believe they pertain to values rather than logic.