Today I had to pay our property tax. It is not a fun time. I do not like to see my money leave so quickly when it seems to take so long to build up. But I also really don't want to be a grumbler. Someone who is always complaining about, well, taxes. And Lord knows if I added up all of the tax I pay, from the grocery store, to the hardware store, plus school taxes and then property tax plus the taxes taken out of our paychecks for things like medicare and SS, I would probably faint at the number and be able to make a good case for taxation without representation. However, I digress.(BTW, I live in Monroe County and we are the most heavily taxed area in the US, ugh.)
There are really good reasons we pay taxes and I will take a moment to list some of the good things my tax dollar helps pay so I avoid turning into one of those people who looks at every public employee as a wretched waste of time and money(not naming names but the description fits a lady at the bus stop who is constantly complaining that we have to pay $$$$$ for the health care and benefits of each town employee. I'm really tired of hearing this because in the end, I don't want to have a community of people who do not have health care. It would not make for a good situation I think.) Again, I digress.
1. We have a fire station less than a half a mile away. That means a response time of under 5 minutes for almost any emergency. This is actually huge when you think of what the ramifications would be of not having one so close.
2. Our Town(Greece) has a free compost and wood chip program where they actually deliver the materials to your house. This is a huge service to someone who likes to garden and makes me happy every year.
3. Our police department is extensive. While yes, we have not had a great couple years there as far as scandal free authority goes, I do feel safe in my area and all my interactions with the police have been positive.
4. Our streets are plowed fairly well and often.
5. When the sewer backed up into our house a couple years ago, they were here within 30 minutes and cleared the problem. We did have to tackle the clean-up but we did not have to pay a plumber.
6. They removed my old yucky tree and planted a new one, that I got to pick. Course my choices were limited but still, I had a choice.
7. We have 2 libraries, one of which is very large. I think we need to expand the smaller one that is blocks away from my house. But still, I can reserve any material in the system and have it delivered to my neighborhood library. Plus, the librarians there are great, helpful people who have been kind to my children ever since we started bringing them.
8. We have quite a few parks, though I would love to see more trails too, the parks and playgrounds are great for my kids and for Possum too. We have 3 within walking distance of our house and during the Summer, it is a boredom buster for sure.
So there's 8 good reasons to pay taxes. Can you think of any others? I'm sure there are.
It's just that it would be easy to yell loudly, 'No More Taxes!" But the truth is, they are essential to some extent. Do I think that my monies are spent efficiently and wisely 100% of the time? Not really. And that is really disappointing. It makes raising taxes more unpalatable when I think they are not being as careful with their budget as I have to be with mine. But I will also not drift into the complainers corner and be ungrateful for the services they provide either. Especially since I have to pay them, like it or not.