Sales tax revenues fund essential services

By Thomas Huerkamp


Dear Editor:

I am really having mixed emotions about the letter from Debbie Schum in your Dec. 14 edition. On one hand I am somewhat faltered that she apparently thinks I am some kind of community leader and therefore should be taken to task. I am disappointed that Debbie chooses to make it about me rather than thoughtfully address the issue I raised. Then I am surprised at the logic she employed that ignited her typical ANTI attitude, I thought Debbie was smarter than that.

Debbie did get a few things right, there are a lot of taxes, many hidden and many times wastefully or even corruptibly spent. She is right that these far away warehouses of Fed Ex, UPS, Amazon, etc. pay tons of property taxes. That is exactly the problem -- they don't pay them here where local government needs them to provide essential services, streets and roads, law enforcement, education, water, waste disposal, health care, fire protection, ambulance services, etc. Much of the revenue for city, town, county, libraries, landfills, etc. comes from sales taxes collected in each local jurisdiction. Her purchases on Amazon help pay the property tax in some far away state but provides nothing for local government and will be the death of local retail sales and the corresponding sales tax.

I don't know if Debbie lives inside the boundaries of the Delta County Ambulance District or if she owns property within the district. But if she does, I am fairly certain she would have voted NO on the mill levy increase the service was seeking. That being the case I hope she won't be upset when she needs the ambulance that it might take a half hour longer to get there than it does today.

Finally if Debbie has followed my nearly 50 years of public service activism here in Delta County so closely she really missed the mark on the golf courses owned by the City of Delta and the Town of Cedaredge. I have publicly and privately urged each to not sell, but give them to the first person that comes along who possesses the skills to perhaps make them work. That would stop the bleeding and also put them back on the tax rolls as privately owned commercial properties, a win, win for everyone. Oops I forgot Debbie won't like that at all because its just more taxes.

Thomas Huerkamp
Orchard City
President, Delta County
Ambulance District