TAB Members and Supporters,
During the budget hearing on Tuesday, one of our coalition partners said in his remarks to the board that he thought TAB ".. should declare victory.." since the current millage proposal is so close to last year's. This did not sit well with Commissioner Taylor, who thought casting the discussion in those terms was not helpful.
While TAB has not used that language, we are involved in a struggle that has winners and losers, and represents a clash of worldviews, much as is playing out now on the national stage. The dispute is over the proper role and size of government. While our talking points have addressed budgets, millage and specific levels of taxation, the underlying tension is between those who benefit from county spending and those who pay the bills. Unfortunately, the former group is larger and more organized, but this year we put up a good fight. Three of the seven commissioners agreed with us and opposed an increase in the millage, the closest vote in recent memory.
Next year, while we will engage on the budget line items, the real action will be over who will fill the three seats that are up for election. With term limits, both Karen Marcus and Burt Aaronson will be leaving office, and Shelley Vana must defend her seat. There are already a number of interesting candidates emerging, and we expect a spirited fight in some districts - both in the August primary and in the general election. From a TAB perspective, a candidate's position on the budget and taxation will be of keen interest and we will attempt to explore these in depth. Several of our coalition partners are already planning a series of debates and forums for the commission races.
We want to thank all of you for joining us in the fight this year and ask that you keep your powder dry and stock up on reserves for next year's round. It is only through citizen involvement that we get responsible government, and a government that is watched is one that makes the best decisions.
For a synopsis of the meeting, please see: 2012 Millage set at 4.7815
Taxpayer Action Board