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Vote "AGAINST" the Lies!

We urge you to VOTE & vote “AGAINST” this tax on November 2nd 2021!! Tell your representation to present a plan for ambulance service before asking for more money. Tell your representation to make economic development a separate ballot proposition like other counties in Wyoming.

Defeat this tax increase and tell your representation to get it right for the 2022 ballot.

Rock Springs City Council voted NO for this even though they have the most to gain. Let’s pay attention to our representation that were involved with all of the general purpose tax meetings and determined this proposition is all wrong.

Blog Post by Island Richards:

Some of your elected officials are asking you to vote on November 2 to pay 20% more in sales taxes on every purchase you make. That's somewhere around a 44% increase in what local governments receive from sales tax. Why? Well, to listen to them tell it, it's to provide our county with ambulance service and economic development. But they aren't telling us the whole story.

Why can’t our elected officials be honest about the fact that this tax is not to provide money for public safety, but rather to creatively raise taxes in the name of public safety in order to provide revenue to their general funds? They spent thousands of dollars to send us all mail "informing" us how the money raised from the tax grab will be used, but that mailer is nothing but propaganda, full of so much bull$%^! that a call to the nuisance inspector might be in order to get rid of the stink.

Nothing in the ballot language requires that 3/4 of revenue be spent on public safety, and nothing in the ballot language requires that 1/4 of the revenue be spent on economic development. In fact, the ballot language very specifically says that only a “portion of the tax proceeds shall be used for public safety and economic development,” which means that all the information provided in the images attached to the mailer about where the money “will” be spent is just speculation, at best, and at worst, and much more likely, a downright lie. A taxpayer funded lie, at that.

Remember, the County Commission is spending around $110,000 of your money to convince you that they need more of your money. That's about $100,000 to hold the special election, which could have been done for zero additional cost if they had taken their time and put on next year's general election ballot, and another $10,000 for the "informational" propaganda they mailed out to everyone. But they didn't take their time. They adopted the resolution in a rush, with zero public input, and now they are using your money to convince you to give them more.

Parroting “public safety” as the purpose of this tax is simply a fear tactic being used to scare people into supporting a tax whose real purpose is to keep local governments from having to cut funding to pet projects (aka outside agencies) in order to fund the actual, legitimate purposes of our government entities.

There is zero doubt, ZERO, that the purpose of this is to provide revenue for general funds rather than public safety. If you don't believe me, take it from the Chairman of the Board of the Sweetwater County Commissioners, Randall "Doc" Wendling, who said in the October 5 meeting, "This proposition was deeply needed between all three communities to help with their general fund.” Did he just misspeak, because the mailer clearly said public safety and economic development? I doubt it, because he also said, “I don’t think there is anything more clear than for the absolute need for this proposition to be successful in order to help with cities and counties and towns general fund budgets.” There is no doubt this is to allow them to continue to fund outside agencies. How do we know? Well, the third time is a charm. “It helps our general fund budget to be able to fund other things that are needed that might be for our employees or it might be for outside agencies to keep them whole but that’ll be another story.” Public safety? Please.

Do we need ambulance service in this community? Yes, of course we do. Does this tax provide ambulance service? No, absolutely not. It simply gives millions to government to use as a discretionary fund. There is no plan in place to provide ambulance service. Besides, the current subsidy for ambulance service is about $1.3 Million a year. They are asking for about $20 Million a year in new funding.

No plan = vote no.

Do we need to invest in economic development in Sweetwater County? Yes, of course we do. Does this tax provide additional funding to do that? No, absolutely not. I was at a SEDC strategic planning meeting just weeks before this tax grab was announced, and adopted by the county commission (without any public input, I might add). At that SEDC strategic planning meeting, the stakeholders generally agreed that pursuing a 1/4 penny tax in the future to fund economic development made sense, as long as it was proposed with a very clear and comprehensive plan on how that money would be used to promote economic development. We also generally agreed that we were not close to having such a plan, and that we should focus on other things in the near future. Imagine my surprise, just weeks later, when this resolution came to light?

No plan = vote no.

Do our communities’ general funds need relief? Maybe. If our elected officials had chosen to make that case, maybe we would have accurate information to make an informed decision with. But, that’s not what happened, is it? Instead, they decide to lie to us and tell us it is about public safety.

No plan = vote no.

This tax increase should never have been brought to the ballot without very specific plans on how it should be spent, and putting a bunch of speculative bullet points on the county approved propaganda doesn’t change that. They passed the resolution with no warning, no public input, and no plan.

No plan = vote no.

If our elected officials would have been honest from the beginning, admitting that what they really needed was general fund relief, and not trying to scare us into supporting it after manufacturing a crisis in ambulance service funding by cutting current subsidies, then this would be a different discussion, and it’s possible that the Sweetwater County Republican Central Committee would not have taken a contrary position to passing it. But, that isn’t what happened. What happened is, without public input, the county commissioners passed a resolution authorizing a vaguely worded ballot proposal that doesn’t do what we are being told it was meant to do.

No plan = vote no.

Vote AGAINST the lies.

Vote AGAINST the tax increase on November 2.

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