When politicians, bureaucrats or activists call for the creation of a “Dedicated Funding Source” to help pay for a government activity, taxpayers should hide their wallets. All that dedicated funding sources do is entrench spending and shield politicians from accountability.
What is a “Dedicated Funding Source?” Simply put, it is paying for a government service with a special tax that is supposed to go only to that activity. This can be a fee on your utility bill, a special assessment on a small business, or it can be percent of the sales tax that everyone pays. Recently, politicians in Milwaukee County and throughout the state have discovered the magic of these hidden taxes. Nail the taxpayer in a hundred little, less noticed ways, and you get to claim you opposed raising property taxes or income taxes come election time.
Currently, there are political candidates running for office who want a “Dedicated Funding Source” to help pay for county parks. Why should our parks be treated any differently than any of the other services the county provides, like buses or the Sheriff’s department? In these challenging economic times, all operations should be on the table when considering cutting or limiting what Milwaukee County can afford to do.
The more politicians spread out funding sources, the harder it is for taxpayers to judge whether they are holding the line against wasteful spending or special interest giveaways. You should be against a “Dedicated Funding Source” because it never stays “dedicated” and never goes away. When was the last time you heard of government eliminating a tax or fee? Once you create a new “Dedicated Funding Source” you have created a permanent drain on the economy and on your paycheck.
Politicians should be there to protect the taxpayers and save the local economy from crippling new taxes, not to protect or save a particular department or service in Milwaukee County. Keep that in mind before you vote.