We have to agree that Martin County commissioners who support a $10 per vehicle "wheelage" tax are probably right in advocating the idea. The tax hike would raise $200,000 annually to help repair county roads. Road work seems to be an area where the county should be doing a little more to keep pace with needed maintenance.
That said, we have to ask:?Is the county going to lower taxes by $10 per person somewhere else? Because it should.
In supporting the tax, Commissioner Dan Schmidtke says there has been an effort for years to find more funding for road repairs: "Nobody wants more taxes, nobody wants more fees, but this is just $10. That's not going to hurt anybody."
The trouble is, that kind of attitude is spread across all units of government, and through every program sponsored by government. The result is that Americans are paying up to 50 percent of their incomes in local, state and federal taxes.
Might we suggest that for every new program and accompanying tax hike, an older program or tax be reduced or eliminated. Might we suggest that governments at all levels better prioritize their spending. Might we suggest that governments at all levels stop rationalizing money out of the pockets of taxpayers. Might we suggest that government officials at all levels try to see the forest, rather than just the tree they happen to be looking at today.