And then comes ACT, the Alliance of Concerned Taxpayers. By their most recent solicitation they could be the Alliance to Confuse Taxpayers, or by their rhetoric, the Alliance to Create Turmoil. The latest campaign strategy should be familiar to anyone with a mailbox.
First, enlighten the target audience about an impending crisis, and then inform them that the only possible way this can be avoided is if you send money, quickly, and the more the better. There’s just no telling how many rain forests, endangered species, personal liberties, and oppressed societies have been thus saved.
To be successful, the solicitation must contain an element of truth, and this one does. When told that a one-mill increase in property tax equals $300 on a $300,000 home, that is pure fact. It’s also fact that a ten-mill increase equals $3,000. It is also fact that the mill rate increase in the just-passed Borough budget is zero. Likewise, any amount you decide to donate will be precisely 100 percent more than any Borough tax increase or reduction of exemption. When told that the mill rate has been 6.5 mills for several years (actually since 2002) you also should know that that’s 24 percent less than ten years ago. It could have been lower still, except that with ACT’s help we decided we didn’t want visitors to pay a larger share.
This strategy goes off course, though, when it insults people in the same breath as asking for money. If everything in the solicitation is true, then you can’t help but conclude that Borough voters are such incompetent fools that they repeatedly elect people whose only purpose is to separate them from their hard earned money. So, are we to believe that our only salvation is to send unmarked bills to this uniquely qualified group so they can protect the people from the people they insist on electing? It is, after all, for your own good.
Ron Long, president,
Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly
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