Tomorrow night the council will again take up the subject of the phone tax – they tried to slip it by in the consent agenda, but I for one will be there to ask that it be “pulled” for discussion.
We’ve already discussed the poor wording in the resolution. It was so bad that it was sent back for a rewrite. That’s how desperate Schwab and the other four are to pass this thing – it’s their life raft. If they don’t get us to swallow this hook, the city ship will begin to sink. The last five years they have held their SS Titanic together with RDA glue. Now that the RDA glue bottle has been taken away from them (I think they were sniffing it), they need a new revenue source. You know, like a vampire needs a fresh neck!
Oh yeah, that would be funny – everybody wear a string of garlic to council tomorrow!
The resolution that $200,000-a-year city attorney Lori Barker brought back was no better than the first one – in fact, this one is more deceptive. She has continued to omit much of the pertinent information needed for the voters to make an informed decision.
At the first meeting, I distinctly heard Barker say, that she wasn’t even sure what would “happen” under this ordinance. That’s because, the ordinance provides for the Finance Director, currently Jennifer Hennessy, to add new technologies to the list of taxable services at her own prerogative, without any input from the voters.
The definition of what can be taxed is so broad at this point, the city attorney says she doesn’t even know what might end up being taxable. Her ballot resolution describes the taxable services here:
2) modernize the definition of telephone communication services subject to the tax to include new technologies such as wireless and voice over internet services; 3) apply the tax to all telephone communications regardless of the technology used;
We are told, “new technologies such as…”, but she just lists two here. In the report she included texting and paging. It seems to me she has omitted those two from the ballot resolution intentionally. And, in today’s ER, she says SCYPE can’t be taxed because it’s a free service, but “You could use a computer for telephone services” What services could they include in this tax later? She isn’t telling us. She’s being as vague as possible.
She says SCYPE is not included now because it is free. Well, it will be included as soon as the phone companies get enough of you using it and start charging for it. Always be wary of FREE STUFF! It’s wrapped around a great big hook, my fine little fishes!
Here’s something else they aren’t telling us. Right now, some carriers are collecting the tax ILLEGALLY. If we don’t pass this turkey, the city will lose a lot more than $9o0,000 a year. They are this close to not being able to meet obligations they’ve made to $taff, and when that happens – oh oh! Bankruptcy! And then? None of them get paid until they go to court.
Ever deal with an addict? Well we have a building full of them Downtown, hooked on the green stuff. And they’re about to get a serious case of the DT’s.