THE ANCHORAGE DAILY PLANET
A note to the Anchorage Assembly: Residents of a 119-year-old Ohio town who had grown weary of government taxation have voted to dissolve and disband their city government.
That’s right: Seventy percent of Amelia’s 5,000 residents voted to shut it down after a year-long slugfest over a dead-of-night income tax.
What set it all off? The Amelia City Council secretly levied a 1 percent income tax on residents – without bothering to ask how they might feel about it. It supposedly notified them by letter. Residents already were paying about $1,400 annually in state income taxes; about $780 each annually in a state sales tax and $130 in local sales taxes. Property taxes? About $3,300 per year.
The new levy would have added more than $600 annually to individual tax bills – and that lit the fuse. People wondered where their hard-earned dough was going.
They should have. Among other things, the city spent hundreds of thousands of tax dollars on upgrading city offices to a Victorian-style building. The mayor claimed city workers were cramped in their old digs.
“Free Amelia” PAC founder Ed McCoy told Fox News the Ohio residents’ decision to dissolve their village was “bizarre” but warranted.
“Some people, to this day, never did receive a letter. There’s people out there that don’t even realize that they’re being taxed 1 percent of their income. So, they pretty much just changed the law, right? What they did was illegal.”
The residents of what once was Amelia will be added to other municipalities.
While our august Assembly scratches hither and yon for more money to spend, even asking us on occasion to ignore the city charter in things such as utility sales and sales tax votes, you have to wonder when Anchorage will have had enough – and what its residents will do about the city’s incessant yen for more money.
Will we see them in the streets shouting, “Remember Amelia”? Time will tell.