Public Libraries and Tax Cuts – Curious Intersections

Last week I noted I would be voting for the proposed plan to bring a public library to the City of Tuttle. For the third time, the attempt failed. I am hoping the efforts continue. One of these days we hope there will be a public library in Tuttle.

During a conversation last week a friend and I were wondering just what brought the third defeat. Was it a matter of location? Would people have voted for the measure had the proposed location been centered in another part of the City? Maybe somewhere more near Highway 37 and Highway 4? Who knows. Was it a matter of funding? Would people have voted for the measure had there been no request for a 1/2 cent sales tax designated for the project? Maybe the issue was the Tuttle Public School District patrons did not want their property taxes to increase to suppor the Library. Who knows.

These issues stirred in me again when I watched the Tax Cut measures move swiftly through the U.S. Congress with the promise of a Presidential signature. The legislation keeps more money in everyone’s pocket. Classism did not win the day – rich and poor benefit. Even more, the ever controversial “earmarks” ensured pet projects will continue to be funded. The new twist? Payroll tax reductions for one year. Looks like everyone makes off well. Except those who eventually will have to pay for it.

Maybe you see the curious intersection. Likely the majority who voted against the Tuttle Public Library Project hoped their congressional representatives would vote to keep the “Bush Era” tax cuts and any other advantage that could be won along the way. Just as we don’t want to pay for a public library, no one wants to pay the national debt. But, we will. One day. One way or another. The thing is, most will hope their time on planet earth will have ended so the tax bill does not adversely affect them. Good luck to those who will have to make the hard decisions. Maybe one day we will not have a failure of nerve.

No one wants tax increases. At least not for things we will never see benefit from. But, how is it that we will not consider our children and those who cannot afford smart phones and internet service, those who cannot afford a personal computer, or find transportation to the Mustang Library? We will readily see the benefits of the increase in sales tax and property tax for the good of our Community in a Public Library.

Conversely we do not mind those payroll deductions as they are and how those tax contributions are spent. Most never take the time to investigate just how their tax dollars are spent – be they State or Federal taxes. But, when given the occasion to see how those dollars are spent, influence the way they benefit the good of a local community, we prefer to fund projects often both unnecessary and certainly not seen in our neck of the woods.

Most of the time our reasoning works like this. So long as I get my tax cut, who cares what else we fund. Then, why not consider your new tax cut a solid reason to support a future library project for the good of our Community – whether personally you need it or not. You fund much less worthy projects with your tax dollars across our State and Nation.

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.