Several business community supporters make the following point about the $800 million medical research sales tax increase before Jackson County voters on Nov. 5.
They say the tax would create a stable source of funding — $40 million annually for 20 years — mostly for research at three institutions.
However, tax opponents (including me) can turn around this claim and look at it another way:
• The tax will create a stableburden
on taxpayers, lasting 20 years.
• Backers of the tax say it will cost the average household around $5 a month, or $60 annually.
• Take that $60 and multiply it times 20 years, and the potential exists that average households would have to fork over $1,200 over those two decades for the medical research tax.
Obviously, some people will think that’s well worth the investment.
But others won’t.
I oppose this sales tax — even though it’s for a good cause — because it’s not the appropriate use of such a large sales tax imposed in only one county for something that is not a traditional public service or amenity.
In addition, this kind of medical research can be paid for in other ways — through a combination of foundation, philanthropic and federal funds — as is being done at other children’s hospitals and medical institutions throughout the nation.
So to save about $1,200 a household, voters should reject Question 1 on Nov. 5.
Oh, and don’t be lazy and stay at home — whether you support or oppose the tax. Something this important should be decided by as many people as possible. The higher the turnout, the better, next Tuesday.