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Keizer City Council Bobs & Weaves

January 18, 2011 J

Sometimes, reality provides a real slap in the face.

That’s the situation facing the Keizer City Council. Earlier this month AFP and its allies turned in twice as many signatures as were needed to refer the City’s new cell phone tax to the ballot in May.

Tonight, the Council will consider repealing the tax at its regular meeting. This is a good first step, and provides at least some evidence that the Council is finally ready to begin considering the opinions of the people who put them in office.

However, rumors are still swirling that the City Council intends to revisit the issue of a cell phone tax, perhaps at a lower rate, perhaps with a City Council proposal to impose the tax on the ballot in November. One wonders what part of “NO!” the Keizer City Council did not understand.

In general, AFP supports the idea of government bodies asking permission from voters before they increase taxes and fees. This is especially true during the kind of tough economic times Oregon has been experiencing and is likely to continue to experience for years to come. Some ideas, however, are so obviously bad and hugely unpopular – such as the cell phone tax in Keizer – it is a waste of time and money to even ask voters for approval.

The Keizer City Council needs to face reality – Keizer voters are in no mood for a cell phone tax, or any other kind of tax or fee increase. They are already struggling to make ends meet, and are facing an uncertain economic future as the same people who created the current crisis now fumble around looking for answers. Tonight’s vote to repeal the Keizer cell phone tax – which should be passed unanimously – ought to be the City Council’s final action on this matter.

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