Commonwealth Journal

October 20, 2011

‘Taxation Without Representation’?

Commonwealth Journal

— To the Editor:

I appreciate having a modern library in Somerset, and I believe it is an asset to the entire community. However, I am strongly opposed to the current system of funding which allows unelected officials unfettered authority to tax and to spend without being directly responsible to the voters.

“Taxation without representation” seems to apply just as it did in 1773!

I assume board members of all government entities, who possess this authority, are all hard working, honest citizens just doing their civic duty; but without checks and balances, good people can make bad decisions.

In view of the current economic crisis in this country, it would have been more prudent for the Library Board members to look for ways to cut spending rather than to raise taxes. To put an added burden on our citizens who are already under financial stress was not a good decision in my opinion.

The following questions address a few of my concerns:

1. Who are the Library Board members?

2. How did they obtain their positions?

3. When do their terms expire?

4. How are they replaced?

5. Is the budget made public (with detailed information concerning all receipts and expenditures, as well as, salaries)?

6. Are board meetings advertised (well in advance of the meeting) and are they open to the public?

7. Should the voters choose to change this system, what are the best options?

A good investigative reporter could make an in-depth analysis of the "pros and cons" of this unusual method of taxation.

I believe the Commonwealth Journal has an obligation to the community to inform the public with factual information on this subject. Surely this information is as worthy of front page coverage as "the weight of a pumpkin!"

Jim Paine

Nancy, KY 42544