Whether it is the federal government, state, county or city, the government is owned by the people. That’s why the U.S. Constitution starts out, “We the People.” Often, elected officials perform acts that do not benefit the taxpayers or make commitments that the people cannot afford or do not want to spend money on. After all, the money that government wastes is the taxpayers’ money.
“We the people” need to hold our officials accountable for their actions and how they use our money. Many of us are too busy putting food on the table, or we just don’t understand how government works. Therefore the government spends our hard-earned money without oversight.
It doesn’t matter what level of government we are discussing. We must be vigilant and oversee how that government does the bidding of the people and when they deviate from the peoples’ objectives. “We the people” must set them back on course. Government must be transparent.
Coastal EMC has begun charging Midway customers a utility franchise tax, which will go to the city. I think this was a sneaky way for the mayor to impose a new tax on Midway’s citizens, and the city is using Coastal EMC as their tax collector. You will find this tax marked on your electric bill as “city of Midway franchise tax.” The city is saying that this is a fee — not a tax. Call it what you want, the community pays it.
Franchise tax: A tax on a corporation for the right and privilege of carrying on business. Coastal EMC is not paying this tax. The citizens of Midway are!
Just because Midway can impose a tax does not mean that it should. The city does not have a line item expenditure statement on how this money will be spent, yet it is taxing its residents on their electric bills with the money going into the “general fund,” a black hole where money tends to evaporate.
It’s not that I am against taxes — if they are required — but to impose a tax without justification is not the way a city should be run. As a resident, I want to know how the city of Midway is spending my money before imposing a new tax. I emphasize “before.”
I am not an attorney, but I question the legality of placing a double tax on businesses. Every business pays a franchise tax (fee). Now, every time a Midway business pays its electric bill, it will be paying a second franchise tax. The citizens of Midway will pay a tax on their electric bills and will pay more for goods bought in Midway because businesses will pass on the higher cost of doing business thanks to this tax.
In bad economic times, increasing taxes hurt seach of us — especially those on fixed or low incomes. Who is the city of Midway answering to? Certainly not the community.