We all recently filed our IRS and state annual tax statements, and this weekend I wrote our real estate tax first installment check. It reminded me of lessons learned from the farm. I was not raised on a farm but was blessed with the privilege of spending summers on a relative’s farm from ages 11 to 15. It was a wonderful experience with many life lessons learned.
My uncle raised Yorkshire hogs, Appaloosa horses and Hereford beef cattle. The hogs were the most interesting to observe, and they remind me of our many governmental entities as they go to the trough of tax assessments and levies. The lessons observed are the following:
1. Hogs – like humans – have insatiable wants and desires. They eat until all the feed is gone. Taxing entities have insatiable wants and desires and will not be satisfied until all of our resources are theirs to consume.
2. Hogs do not share; they fight off others to get what they want. Have you heard the rhetoric between local elected officials and state elected officials about who is funding the pathetic state of public retirements? Have you noticed the increase of local pension funding of last year? By my calculation – when comparing my 2011 tax bill to 2012's – it is 8.75 percent, as compared with other expenses that increased at only .29 percent. Do you know that our local real estate taxes will double if the state of Illinois shifts the burden back onto local taxing entities?
3. Hogs will attack the food source if they don’t get enough. Has your household income gone up these last years like government spending? Most of us have tightened our budgets and cut back, rather than increased spending! Are your employer or you funding more into your retirement? I feel taken advantage of and being attacked by those who are supposed to be working for us.
4. Hogs were created by God to serve as food for us, not for us to serve as their food.
It is time that we, the owners of our local, state and federal government, wake up and start sending responsible elected officials who will lead and manage the governmental systems to ensure that basic services are provided and that the future of governmental entities is sustainable. The silo that feeds the trough is empty.