In a few weeks, Woods Cross and West Bountiful will be, yet again, deciding whether to force the citizens to pay for the hobbies of a limited, special interest group and give politicians more funding to pass on to their favorite pet projects. Both cities rejected the tax last election but the mayors decided they knew better and citizens “didn’t understand” about the issue.
I’ve covered the RAP tax issued for quite a while now. For a list of all posts dealing with the issue click here.
Ultimately, the RAP tax is a special interest group and politician’s playground. Citizens’ hard earned money is taken from them, without asking, and given to projects a politician is already involved in and (often) benefiting from or given to those who can curry favor with a politician. Bastiat was right, this is “legal plunder“:
“But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.”
To sum up, here’s what a RAP Tax achieves, from my perspective:
- Increases tax burdens on those on fixed incomes (elderly, disabled), the poor, and young families
- Gives government and politicians more control of your money
- Politicians have final discretion on how your money is used and who it is given to
- Raises the overall cost of goods (more tax = greater cost)
- Does all of the above during an economic downturn and tough economic times
All the above, additionally adds to the recent tax and fee increase burdens we have had to bear. Click here for a list of those additional governmental burdens (up to 2007) which has, since, been added to.
Finally, we all have our hobbies. Frankly, some of mine could benefit from such a tax, but it is fundamentally wrong to forcibly take money from others to fund my fun. That is my responsibility. In the past, proponents used to go out into the community to raise funds via voluntary donations for what they deemed a deserving project or activity. That should be the case in the future as well.