Hearing Voices

Hearing Voices / Lynda Aiman-Smith on the
“Quality of Life” Tax Increase

today28 July 2013 4 1

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Dr Lynda Aiman-Smith is still a member of the Graduate Faculty of Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.  However she is a native New Mexican who has finally come back home.  Her areas of expertise are management, innovation, and entrepreneurship. As well as being active in research and teaching, she has been a serial entrepreneur, and a manager in corporate America.

This installment of Hearing Voices is her commentary on the special election for a tax increase.  There is no controversy there – it is definitely a special election to authorize a tax increase.  The meeting of Thursday 25 July at the WNMU Forum is posted in its entirety here.

To provide some context,  its boosters characterize its purpose as enhancing “Quality of Life” and give assurance that the revenues obtained would be applied to five projects that they have outlined in only the broadest strokes.  This gives rise to a number of contentious issues.

Perhaps the most glaring is that the ballot says nothing about the five projects – and thus there is no guarantee that these projects will be undertaken nor that other unspecified projects would not be substituted.  The ballot language authorizes the use of the revenues for many other purposes beyond the five projects including the expansion of jails or construction of a new prison.

So please listen and we hope that you find Lynda’s commentary to be informative and instructive.
Lynda Aiman-Smith on the “Quality of Life” tax increase

Also please note that a public forum on this issue took place on Thursday 25 July 2013.  The complete recording of this forum is posted here.

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  1. Walter "Ski" Szymanski on 28 July 2013

    Thank you, Lynda, for helping me (and the community, really) understand this boondoggle.

    Interestingly, one of the programs that counties have under state law for their gross receipts tax (GRT) options is titled, “County Quality of Life Gross Receipts Tax.” And under that option, counties must appoint a “cultural advisory board” to oversee the distribution of the Quality of Life gross receipts tax.

    Perplexingly, however, the option our Grant County commissioners have chosen to put before the voters on August 19 is a “County Capital Outlay Gross Receipts Tax”. And under this option there is no requirement for citizen oversight of public monies spend under the Capital Outlay GRT.

    So, not only did the pushers of this gross receipts tax increase not work to secure involvement from the community at large in developing true quality of life options, they also chose a GRT option that ensures that there will be no official public body to oversee GRT expenditures.

    Seems to me that the GC commissioners and others responsible for this proposed tax increase, by design or ineptitude, scorn structural public input.

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