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Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society

By Wendy Butler Burt

Engraved on the the pediment of the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, DC, is the famous quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Taxes are what we pay for a civilized society." I agree.

I've followed with interest recent comments in ColumbiaMagazine.com regarding the county's need to increase taxes. And while I do not have an opinion about what would be the best source of additional tax revenue, it is clear that taxes need to be increased to support public safety (sheriff, fire, etc.), schools, roads (paving, snow removal, etc.), public health (EMS, 911, county health dept., etc), trash disposal (transfer station, recycling center, roadside trash pick-up, etc.), general quality of life (library, Extension, parks & recreation, etc.), animal shelter, and so much more.

I've lived here for over 12 years and again and again have reflected on the grim reality that all of us in Adair County pay an exceedingly high price for the low taxes we now pay. I've lived in very high tax jurisdictions and, given the choice between the services we receive for the "starvation level" taxes we pay in Adair County and simply sufficient -- or even generous -- public services I've received in other jurisdictions, I'd pay higher taxes every time.




This story was posted on 2021-01-27 17:48:20
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