John Reed begins his column this week by referencing that old phrase, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Several years ago, I had an experience with that phrase when a former government person informed me that when our county commission and board of education set a millage rate that year that brought in more revenue than the previous year, it was not a tax increase. I begged to differ. I argued that if the county and board were receiving more revenue then it was, indeed, a tax increase. She begged to differ.
We went round and round until she finally said, “I tried to tell the legislature not to pass that legislation and they wouldn’t listen to me.”
Ah! I thought of another phrase: “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
Well, it turns out that today, years later, I was right and she was wrong. She was right in that the legislation passed would cause terrible confusion among the public, but I was right that a millage rate that results in more revenue for the government is a tax increase.
I take no comfort in the fact that I was right in that confrontation years ago because this week I have spent a lot of time trying to educate the public about the “tax increase that is really not a tax increase.”
I don’t believe for a minute that my explanation on Page 1 clears up the situation. Because too many people these days live and breathe by what they read on social media, in particular Facebook, and they don’t really care to hear the facts.
They are more interested in having their opinions verified by comments that are posted by people who are clueless about the facts.