November’s ballot is veritably clogged with many local cities pursuing sales tax increases, and voters are being bombarded with propaganda to approve them. This is the tax treadmill: a systemic, predictable and troubling trend.
Consider San Luis Obispo’s Measure G. Here’s how it works:
1. Local government seeks new sales tax approvals by promising new things while vowing that the increases will expire within a finite time frame.
2. Then it gets businesses and organizations dependent on city funding to campaign for the increase.
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3. Once approved, it does a few of the things it promised voters, while swelling its bureaucracy and providing higher compensation packages to already well-paid employees. 4. Before long, those sales tax revenues are consumed by an expanding bureaucracy and costly government salaries, leaving little left for promised community improvements.
5. Now addicted to the revenue, it starts pushing for continuing tax increases to feed the beast of what have become “essential services.”
6. Then press “Repeat.”
Such is the tax treadmill. Someone once said the definition of insanity was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” So will voters once again hop aboard the tax treadmill? Sure hope not!