From the archives: Levison’s Death Tax

It’s election time, which means it’s time to go back and review current councilmembers positions and votes. ┬áToday it’s Sarah Levison and her request that the city look into taxing estate and garage sales.

Back on June 30, 2009 at a Longmont City Council meeting, Ms. Levison had this to say: Continue reading…

Survey smurvey

By Dave Larison
Ever notice how the Dems and left wing politicians love their public surveys?

A few weeks ago the Longmont city council deliberated ad nauseum in shaping questions for the biannual city Customer Satisfaction Survey coming out this summer at a cost of over $27,000. Leading the way in the minutia parade were the three far-left members of council, Brian Hansen, Sean McCoy, and Sarah Levison. They acted as if the survey was the infallible Magna Carta of all things relating to Longmont policy. Continue reading…

Death and taxes in Longmont

You’ve worked your whole life, you die, your family tries to sell off some stuff for whatever reason (pay off debts, pay for your funeral, etc) and the taxman, or taxwoman in this case (Longmont City Councilmember Sarah Levison) follows you to and beyond the grave to collect.

Apparently someone in town was holding an “estate sale” and Ms. Levison wants the city to get its fair share of sales tax revenue from this sale. She “had an occasion to stop by” this sale, said she didn’t buy any of the $500+ items, and has now turned snitch on the people holding it. I’m sure it will greatly help in the grieving process.

She said she “noticed they were not collecting taxes for the City of Longmont”. She’s either clairvoyant or actually asked them, but she didn’t elude to that in her comments. How does she know they weren’t collecting sales tax for Longmont or the State of Colorado? That’s right, she doesn’t. Don’t you love those kind of people who show up at places (usually uninvited as anyone who knows them would just assume not invite them to anything) and start throwing their weight and opinion around? In this case a city councilmember making assumptions (correct or not) about a possibly criminal activity, in her opinion.

She didn’t say she didn’t buy anything. So if she did, was she a known accessory to tax evasion? We’ll leave that alone, for now…
Here’s the video

Once again, with some people their instincts and principles just come natural in social settings – in this case a nosey, overtaxing nanny-state type. It’s not enough that they want to bring back the “Death Tax” (“Estate tax” is just too nice) and tax you your whole life and into the afterlife spreading their misery to those you leave behind. But tax them again when they try to sell your stuff, probably just to keep the house you lived in and paid a mortgage on for years.

But that’s not all! She also wants to find out if maybe the state could go after these people, she’d “hate to think that we might have lost several hundred dollars worth of tax income that day“. She ended with “we need every dime we can get these days“. First off, “we” being the government, is supposed to be us, the people. It’s amazing how quickly elected officials forget that and find as many ways as possible to siphon off money from citizens.

Second, if this city didn’t squander money away so frivolously in the last 18 months (about the same time as this weak majority has been on council – no, precisely the time this weak majority has been in charge) this wouldn’t be so much of an issue. It was Ms. Levison in particular who led the charge with last minute adjustments to the recent budget, things dreamed up on the fly with no public notice.

You must know where this is leading, get ready for….

GARAGE SALES TAX.

…and here’s your future garage sale monitor and elected busybody, Sarah Levison, At-Large Longmont City Councilmember.

Longmont ballot issues

Here are some anonymous opinions sent to my site about three ballot issues in the upcoming Longmont election.

AGAINST Longmont Issue 2C: Open Space Sales Tax Extension
Extending this tax until 2034 would be the height of fiscal irresponsibility in view of the tight city budget. Longmonters are already heavily burdened with three open space sales taxes from Boulder County. The last thing the city needs is to go into $31 million more debt with repayment costs of $59.5 million to buy bonds for additional open space. There are far greater spending priorities. This tax was narrowly passed by voters in 2000 with a term of 20 years. The issue should be brought back to the taxpayers when it expires in 2020, not now.

AGAINST Boulder County Issue 1A: Open Space Sales Tax Extension
After 89,000 acres purchased, three sales taxes and nearly $200 million debt, it’s time to put the brakes on Boulder County‘s runaway open space program. The commissioners have devoted far too many resources toward open space, resulting in money being siphoned away from vital county services such as infrastructure, public safety and social services. Excessive open space in Boulder County has proved to have many unintended consequences, most notably unaffordable housing in Boulder. The average sale price of a 3-bedroom home in Boulder is more than $525,000. Boulder also has a weak business climate due to high sales taxes and stifling environmental restrictions. The new Twenty Ninth Street retail center performed poorly in its first year. Broomfield formed its own county several years ago to allow dynamic projects like FlatIrons Crossing and the Broomfield Event Center to flourish. Defeat of Issue 1A would allow this portion of open space sales taxes to expire at the end of 2009 and help to reduce the stranglehold that open space madness has on the county economy.

AGAINST Boulder County Issue 1B: Transportation Sales Tax Extension
Issue 1B is an unneeded extension of a redundant transportation tax. A hefty 1.0% Regional Transportation District (RTD) sales tax is already assessed in Boulder County for transit needs. Road projects are also funded from state and federal sources. In the 2007 Boulder County budget, the commissioners granted a disproportionate $46.2 million for Open Space Funds compared to only $15.2 million for the Road Fund. County voters soundly defeated a similar “transit and trails” sales tax a year ago. The same should be done for this unnecessary sales tax extension.

A Tax By Any Other Name

Part of the problem of trying to stay as topical as possible (as in matters of current interests, not a cream), is that as time goes by, it may become less relevant. Keeping that in mind, here is an issue in the upcoming (4/10/07) Longmont City Council meeting: Revised Airport Rules and Regulations by Code.

I was watching a recently Tivo’d council meeting when the idea of charging Mile Hi Skydiving (MHS) a $1 per jumper fee came up. The councilmember for my ward, Doug Brown, is a nice guy that I’ve had numerous occasions of having friendly conversations with. His eyes lit up with the possibility of this fee, he was doing some fuzzy math figuring out the thousands of dollars that could come the city’s way. Continue reading…