View Full Version : Any Advantages to Making MAPS TAX permanent?

04-27-2008, 06:50 AM
Just a thought and I'll probably get stones thrown at me for suggesting this one; however, don't stand too close to the rock pile, please read on:

Why not vote to make a permanent MAPS Tax and put different projects up for a vote as the need arises?

The money willl already be there to begin building, the Maps' Funds could be drawing interest while we decide (let's say) every 5 years or so what we want to build(?) This would be unique for any major American City and the envy of most!

What are your thoughts?????????????

04-27-2008, 07:40 AM
I think what you describe already exists. if memory serves, the temporary MAPS tax has never disappeared. Its purpose changes, but that temporary 1 cent has been the energizer bunny of sales taxes for some time.

Bottom line is folks who hate voting for taxes can be cajoed into assigning a new temporay purpose, provided (a) they agree with the prupose and (b) continue to believe throwing away a clear expiration date, and agreeing to willingly be taxed beyond that date is not a new tax.
Tell them however it is a now and forever 1 tax but don't worry we'll devote it to new projects now and again, won't likely sit as well.

The first trick of control is convincing the controllee he/she holds the control. Public servants learn that game quickly, and play it well.

04-27-2008, 07:44 AM
The problem is that it then leaves the money in the hands of anyone who is elected. We've had some very good mayors, but that's not a guarantee they will continue to be good. Also, people have different ideas of what types of improvements in the city are necessary, and how would you determine what projects would be funded.

Although, in principle, I'd like to not have to worry about new projects getting support from the voting public, in practice I think it's too risky.

04-27-2008, 07:58 AM
I think that'd be a bad idea. Taxes can either be for the general obligations of the city OR they can be for special projects. If the taxes are for special projects, we have to authorize each product by a vote of the people. Proposals can only embrace single subjects.

If the MAPS tax were to be extended indefinitely, it'd just go back into the general fund. If the money went to the general fund, you'd better believe municipal agencies are going to find more needs for that money. It needs to be allocated to a particular purpose.

04-27-2008, 08:46 AM
I like for it to be temporary, that way we can vote on it project by project (or groups). I voted for the first two, but did not for for the third.

Its good to have a acccountability, choice or voice on each plan.

04-27-2008, 09:37 AM
I think as long as the money is spent on projects voted by the community, the tax will be extended. No need to make it permanent.

We've been blessed to have leaders with good vision for the city. I would bet there are few cities that can boost of this kind of leadership. As long as we have these kinds of people running for office we will continue to support taxes.

04-27-2008, 10:12 AM
As long as they leave the independent committee in place to be watchdog on how money is spent, this system is working. Trust but verify.

04-28-2008, 08:41 AM
The Citizens MAPS Oversight Committee has been a piece of the puzzle that has made MAPS successful.