Thursday, August 12, 2004

Tax Attack Backtrack

In a sudden revearsal of the onslaught of tax increases we have been hit with in Grand Rapids and Kent county, the county commission announced they would not pursue another tax increase request in November to create a county-wide 911 system.

They claim that they were planning on holding off before last week's election, but that the results of several tax votes were what sealed the decision.

The county wanted to increase taxes, again, to support a single 911 system. Currently, each jurisdiction has its own dispatch, which results in a patchwork of police department dispatch systems around the county. That's a legitimate concern, but perhaps the issue should be approached from a different direction.

Since each of those jurisdictions pays for its own system already, why not just get each of those cities, towns, and townships to chip in what they'd save by not running their own 911 dispatch system to pay for a county-wide system? It seems like it would be a lot cheaper to run one centralized dispatch, so it would probably save money for everyone involved.

But then again, the bureaucrats were never accused of being an innovative or efficient bunch. Instead they'd just rather raise taxes for everyone across the county. Then each jurisdiction could spend the "saved" money on much more important things, like midnight basketball.

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