in Revolt: 1990
the U. S., with most Republicans and Democrats united in bipartisan
scamship against the taxpayers, only one thing gets the politicians
attention: tax revolt. And despite little national publicity local rebellions are scaring the wallets off our rulers from
Massachusetts to California.
voters have dumped Democratic Gov. Jim Blanchard's new education
taxes. And the Massachusetts legislature ditched Democratic Gov.
Michael Dukakis's swansong call for $1 billion in new taxes.
Detroit, for the first time ever, the people turned down demands
for more school taxes. In New Jersey, voters are rejecting school
taxes at an historic rate. And in Houston, city councilmen face
ouster in the next election because of their pro-tax stand.
and more Americans are fuming about taxes. And who could blame them?
The phrase "government services" has become a joke.
call the District of Columbia "third world." Residents wish it were
that good. The streets are a network of pot holes held together
by an occasional strip of asphalt; the police play dice and cards
while criminals run free; the teachers are barely literate; the
ambulance drivers can't read maps; and the DMV makes motorists dream
of car bombs.
late 1970s tax revolt passed the District by, but today's zooming
taxes have angered property owners. One group is tying the bureaucracy
in knots with mass appeals on new assessments. Another is urging
class-action suits against city tax assessors.
Chicago, the tax revolt is fed by fury not only at higher taxes,
but at lush government salaries. For example, the head of what is
probably the worst public school system in America makes $250,000
in pay and perks.
New Hampshire's total tax burden is the lowest in America, its per
capita property taxes are almost double the national average.
fight this, taxpayers are trying to roll back the boom in education
spending. In Manchester, one anti-tax group ran a full- page ad
about school boondoggles and bureaucrats, and afterwards, more than
4,000 furious citizens crowded into a local high school for a budget
hearing. The result: massive layoffs in the school loafocracy.
probably going to be the first generation to leave our kids worse
off than our parents left us," whined the head of the New Hampshire
Municipal Association, forgetting that one of the benefits for previous
generations was lower government school spending and interference.
The head of the New Hampshire teachers union complained that low
taxes have become "a matter of theology." Damn right, and taxpayers
don't want to be sent to Hell in a government handbasket.
the chairman of the Board of Selectmen in Dover put it, "The attitude
of people is, 'Government is bad, government is not efficient, and
the only way to control government is to cut down on expenses.'"
In neighboring Massachusetts, the head of the big Taxpayers Association
in ultra-liberal Newton said tax proponents are "insatiable. " We
must focus, he said, on all the government "extravagance."
Fairfax, Virginia, where property taxes have increased up to 50%
this year, Citizens on Sensible Taxation has collected enough signatures
for a referendum to change Fairfax's form of government. The goal:
to throw out the entire Board of Supervisors. The government has
tried every trick to derail the anti-tax plan, but this has only
increased public anger. And a sob story in The Washington Post
on "embattled but brave" Fairfax tax collectors had the same effect.
of the trouble in Fairfax is caused by higher property-tax assessments,
which are tax hikes incognito. But regardless of the assessment,
the tax itself is wrong. If the government can seize your house
because you don't pay its extortions, then you don't really own
these revolts spread, watch for taxpayers to become more and more
confrontational. If everyone from animal rightsers to the "homeless"
can milk billions from the taxpayers with these tactics, then the
people who pay the bills are bound to try the same thing.
is supposed to rest upon the consent of the governed, but the legions
of tax eaters have made this a joke. We have no choice but to put
them on a starvation diet.