This is a viewpoint written by Darla Meyers, Town of St. Joseph
At the last St. Croix County Board of Supervisors meeting, there were nonprofits, for-profits and the Hudson Chamber of Commerce that spoke in favor of mass transit. Whenever the word "affordable" is used as it relates to a government issue, our immediate question should be "affordable for whom?" That question is especially pertinent to this issue as a board member stated that up to 76 percent of mass transit throughout the United States is on the backs of the taxpayers. Everything you get from the government was taken from someone else.
There are enough attorneys on the Board of Supervisors who know that they wouldn't get anywhere in a court of law without defining the terms and definitions of their actionable item. What would be the reaction if an attorney said "I'd like to make my fees affordable to my client?" The first question the judge would ask is "What do you consider affordable?" The client would say "$10 an hour," and the attorney would say "$500 an hour." Which is the correct subjective "affordable" definition?
Why would profits, nonprofits and a chamber of commerce jointly support another government entitlement program? To find out, follow the money trail. What's in it for the person or organization asking for the taxpayer-paid entitlement? For the nonprofits, why would they want to force the taxpayer to pay for a service that should be a charitable gift from their donors? Researching their Form 990s should provide some answers. Could it be that the donor contributions have decreased because the overburdened taxpayer cannot afford to give to their charity? And if the charity is not wanting for donations, then they wouldn't need a taxpayer-funded entitlement.
For the profit organizations, what's in it for them? There's a program in both Wisconsin and Minnesota with similar names called the work opportunity tax credit. Every time you hear the word "tax credit" or "grant," some overburdened taxpayer is probably paying for that entitlement. At least one of our local legislators has stated that the most difficult thing he has had to hear on his campaign trail is people telling him they don't want higher wages because that would mean they won't qualify for welfare.
When will the Sierra Club protest this mass transit proposition, for surely they understand the rural charm of Hudson will be wiped out. The other question to ask is, why are some of these groups supporting big corporations when the St. Croix County Board recently passed a resolution supporting the so-called United to Amend? There's got to be a reason.
The taxpayer is potentially going to be asked to pay for the mass transit that has nebulous costs placed on it, but judging by some of the numbers we've seen, it is surely millions if not billions of dollars depending on the mass transit contemplated. The taxpayer pays for the welfare, the employer tax credit to hire workers in certain categories, and most of the transportation. Blake Fry of the Hudson Chamber of Commerce stated that no one objected to the Chamber supporting mass transit, chiding those of us who don't want to lose the beautiful scenery of the St. Croix Valley to potential mega processing plants for chicken and turkeys and possibly joining the refugee circuit. Hudson Mayor Rich O'Conner is quoted as saying: "Community members have not expressed a similar need to him. I'm not hearing that in Hudson at all — at all..."
Hadwe known Fry was taking a poll, we're sure we could talk a few overburdened taxpayers into calling him, right after they pick their jaws up off the floor after opening their Grinch property tax bill.
I, like so many taxpayers, are hoping for a taxpayer revolt in this county by voting out the big spenders. It can't come soon enough. Visit www.citizensforthestcroixvalley.com for more information.