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Thu, Oct. 17

Friday Catchall: Increases versus income

The Friday Catchall:

INCREASES – While you’re wondering what the APS rate hike will mean to you, consider what one reader has said in response to the idea of sales tax increases.

Arizona Public Service (APS) this week compromised on its requested rate hike for electricity, down to 4.5 percent, at the same time the City of Prescott is pursuing a 0.75 percent increase in its sales tax to pay down unfunded liabilities in the public safety pensions. Also, Yavapai County supervisors are considering an extension of the Jail District tax past 2020, which pays for the jail’s operating costs.

Carol Spencer of Dewey says her income has been continually reduced because of inflation, with little or no increases in her retirement income. It can be a game of seeing how bad it gets – insurance versus state retirement, for example, the latter of which has seen no cost-of-living increase in the past 10 years.

She is gracious, though, noting “far too many residents are worse off than I am.”

Still, the powers that be – city, county or state – “seem to have no idea. They tax and spend like we have deep pockets.”

Numerous other readers/residents have said the same thing.

The solution? Spencer said we need to return to a “functional government,” which means fewer “administrators, fancy buildings and offices, endless taxes, endless laws, (state) support of private and religious schools, etc.”

You get ’em, Carol!

Now, if we could fix the entitlements in this country...

LICENSING – The city continues to license its businesses, sober-living homes, and landlords of rentals – though not enough of the potential licensees are signing up.

For example, since Jan. 1, the city has received 2,170 applications for business licenses – compared with the rough estimate of 10,000 businesses in the community.

I don’t believe the rest are scofflaws – those among us who would flout the law. I think they would have to be unaware.

Why else would you risk a fine of 50 percent for a $35 annual fee, if not paid within 30 days of doing business? The ordinance also lists a 50 percent penalty if not renewed on time.

Considering how the city wants to count the number of sober-living (rehab) homes, and only 13 of the estimated 100 of them have applied, this too may have scared the more nefarious among those away.

The best laid plans often go awry. Go figure!

PICK OF THE WEEK – (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): The Jerome Art Walk is from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, March 4 – live music, food, drink. (Prescott’s is on the “4th Friday” of the month.)


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