8:15 a.m. KTSA Morning Edge Commentary 9/18/2002

City mustn't raise taxes

So here we approach the finish line of the annual debate about how to spend how much tax money, and this year it looks like city council is leaning toward a tax increase.

Lean back, council. Don't.

I ask not for myself. I can afford tax increases as long as I happen to have a job. Hit me up for a few hundred more, I won't even notice it.

I ask you to not raise the tax burden, on behalf of our neighbors who are struggling to live on a fixed income. On behalf of the little old lady whose little home is paid for, who is going to have to decide whether to pay taxes OR buy her medicine.

My friend Roddy Stinson tells the story of an elderly woman who communicated with him a few years ago. Expenses kept growing, her income didn't, and she was having to make quietly-pitiful decisions about what to go without. Along the way she'd decided to buy no more chocolate, ever. Something twanged in Roddy's heart and on a whim he mailed her a candy bar.

She wrote back in gratitude. She appreciated the chocolate bar and was going to make it last as long as she could. She was taking one bite... every day.

She's the one I speak for here. Please don't raise her taxes any more. As you deliberate on spending, please remember our fellow citizens who walk to work because they haven't the bus money, who carry their groceries home heat-wave or rain. Who have quit taking the medicine that costs the most, or who take less of a prescription than they should, to save a few dollars. Please don't spend those few dollars for them.

Mayor and council, cut programs. Raise specific user fees. Please don't increase the tax burden. I'm asking, for Roddy's correspondent who made her last candy bar last.

I'm Brad Messer with commentary at 8:15 on KTSA's Morning Edge.


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