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Letters to the Editor (5/12)

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Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 11:22 am

Not 1 cent, it’s 1 percent

Dear Editor:

Your front-page story "Who can do it?" in the April 30 issue of the Ahwatukee Foothills News perpetuates the incorrect description of Proposition 100 as a "1-cent sales tax hike." Voters should know that the increase in the sales tax is one cent per dollar, i.e. 1 percent.

Can’t you be more honest?

Wolfgang Frye


Pay attention: Stop voting for legislators who give away sales tax, favor big business

Dear Editor:

We are being asked to vote ourselves a "temporary" 1 percent sales tax or 18 percent tax increase to help out the state deficit. In March, the Kyrene School District just asked us to extend its temporary tax, which means there is no such thing as a "temporary tax." The threat is always that primarily our schools (the usual scapegoat), jobs and other public services will be in dire situation if we don’t do it.

How did we get here? Special interest groups are one example, such as out-of-state developers and big corporations that are given huge special tax cuts.

Example 1: City North’s developers who entered into a development agreement with the city of Phoenix specifying that each would receive certain benefits associated with the project. As a financial incentive, the city of Phoenix agreed that the developers would receive half of the sales taxes generated by the project – not to exceed $97.4 million over 11 years. What? And for that benefit the city would get 2,000 public parking spaces, 200 "exclusive use" parking spaces for commuters and the other half of the sales tax proceeds. Thank heavens a group of private taxpayers were paying attention. They filed and won a challenge against the city of Phoenix that had to be decided by the Arizona Supreme Court. (taken from the Gust Rosenfeld Law firm’s 2010 spring newsletter).

Example 2: The city of Glendale made huge tax concessions to the owners of Jobing.com Arena so that the Coyotes would play there. What a big money maker that was to be for Glendale until the owners decided to sell it and threaten to move the Coyotes out of state or out of the country. We’ve all listened to the melodrama ensuing since then and watched as the city of Glendale hired (at taxpayer expense) big gun lawyers to get them out of this mess and keep the Coyotes here.

Example 3: The city of Tempe has sweated out one attempt by US Airways to leave, even though they got huge tax breaks when it was America West Airlines. I would bet that US Airways got even more tax breaks to stay in Tempe even though they may leave anyway due to possible mergers with United or Continental Airlines.

There are other numerous examples of our cities and the state routinely giving away huge amounts of money to special interest groups and big corporations to get them to build in their community and then expect surrounding taxpayers to pick up the bill, over and over again, when things go bad. We all need to pay attention and stop voting for legislators who give away sales tax and favor big business over the taxpayers of Arizona.

Carol Sampson


Immigration redux

Dear Editor:

Al Sharpton recently demonstrated here against the passed "immigration" law. I have a suggestion for ya, Rev: come by bus and have a lot of empty seats. If you’re so open to welcoming these folks, we can bring you right down to the border where you can scoop up a fresh batch of them and give them a free ride to New York, where they can settle in and become your problem.

And all the liberal bleating (including from Mexican president Calderon) that this new law will lead to racial profiling is only plausible if, in fact, there is an easily identified racial group that is more likely to be here illegally than all the others. Has anyone ever thought about protesting to the government in Mexico about how their negligent social policies push their people across our borders? Oh wait, that would get you arrested (or caught in drug-cartel crossfire). Never mind.

Several years ago, a group calling themselves "Minutemen" volunteered to patrol the border, unarmed, and report to the authorities any illegals seen sneaking across. They were scoffed at as vigilantes and ridiculed as ineffective since all they managed to do was divert the illegals around them to cross at another area. How much imagination does it take to envision enough such volunteers (or, say, the U.S. Army) so that there isn’t any place left for the illegals to cross without being spotted immediately?!

And in comparison to what the feds (this is, after all, an international border) have accomplished so far, the Minutemen looked mighty effective to me.

What really frosts me is that when any of the liberal crowd comes down on this issue, they conveniently forget to use the word "illegal" and claim that we are anti-immigrant. Unless we are Native Americans, we all descend from immigrants. Therefore, that would make us anti-us. Yeah, that makes sense.

Although I truly hate this law and the frustration which spawned it, and I am unlikely to credit Arizona politicians with such strategic foresight, my one hope is that this action catches on elsewhere and pokes those brain-dead morons in Washington so they step up to this issue like the statesmen they all strut about pretending to be.

I’m not holding my breath on that one.

William M. Diekmann


Who does Gordon represent?

Dear Editor:

What’s with our mayor, Phil Gordon? Instead of representing the people of Phoenix it looks like he’s bucking for an appointment to the Obama oligarchy.

Jim Thompson


Kiwanis looking for new members to help with parade and projects

Dear Editor:

The Kiwanis Club of Ahwatukee would like to thank the community for its support and enthusiasm witnessed at the annual Easter Parade and Spring Fling April 3. There were problems; no gathering the size of ours can please or accommodate everyone. We do try to anticipate the issues we might face each year, and we evaluate our performance after every function.

All we can and will do next year is suggest that all participants treat one another respectfully. We do not have the authority to force individuals to stay in their assigned booths. We cannot limit their rights of free speech.

Thanks to J. Moore for a very positive and thoughtful review of the 34th annual event, and for the suggestions provided to make it even better next time.

The Ahwatukee Kiwanis Club is a very small part (23 members) of a global organization dedicated to changing the world, one child and one community at a time. Our slogan is "Serving the Children of the World."

We are actively seeking more members/ideas/talents/abilities from the community we serve. Please consider joining us for at least one meeting to learn what we do and how you can make us better.

Bob Anderson

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