Printed Letters: November 30, 2016
Process of making America great continues
Making America great: It is a long, slow process with regression and new starts. It begins with the ideals and ideas of those who formed the nation. In the Declaration of Independence, you read:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Those enslaved and the poor have little chance of that pursuit. But it is a pillar of greatness. Next is the Preamble of the Constitution:
“We the People…secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
“We the People” has over time expanded. The changes happened in allowing those not owning property to vote, emancipation of the slaves, a crucial XIV Amendment, giving women status to vote, civil rights legislation of 1964-5. All of these broadened the definition of “People,” making America a great country. The Fourteenth Amendment contains two phrases that have caused progress to greatness. These phrases are: “due process of law,” and “equal protection of the laws.”
The Supreme Court has repeatedly considered these phrases in deciding modern issues and moving the country toward greatness. America is great because it has included minorities as “People.” It is great because it moves toward fairness. This greatness will continue to develop through the ideals and ideas enumerated above, despite regression, which in the past has always been overcome. Some haven’t considered our heritage when they speak of making America great.
Pass legislation to collect sales tax on internet purchases
A crisis is looming for local governments that are dependent on sales taxes and it will come crashing down in the near future. Traditional brick and mortar retail is entering its final struggle against certain death. Its impact will first be visited on small rural towns and counties. Internet based consumer buying is escalating at a far greater rate than most prognosticators expected.
It is urgent that Colorado passes legislation requiring the collection of state sales tax on internet and phone purchases that are being delivered by the Postal Service, UPS, FedEx and soon by services such as Uber taxis. This legislation must include a provision for the collection and remission of all local government sales tax based on the address of the delivery.
Without this, the likelihood of large revenue shortfalls are going to be felt by Delta County and all towns with sales tax as a part of their revenues. In the case of Delta County, this will mean declines from the sharing of county tax with all municipalities and entities such as the library district and landfills. For us locally, the city of Delta — without property tax and relying heavily of sales tax — this crisis could be monumental.
Anyone who does not realize this impending doom of local government revenues certainly has their head deep in the sand. Those who think this is some distant future threat, you had better check what is happening in major cities around the world with such basics as online grocery shopping, pharmaceutical and drug store items, prepared meals, clothing and even liquor and your evening dinner.
Even the big box brick and mortar stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Sears and JC Penny’s are launching major online platforms to buffer against the future. This is nothing compared to the efforts of Amazon and eBay that are selling for any and everybody. None of these produce one cent of tax for Colorado or any of its counties and towns.
I predict that within five years or less you will see big box stores such as the Wal-Mart here in Delta and neighboring towns disappear as too much of market share will be lost to online purchasing. I doubt that much can be done to stop this trend, so our state and local governments must act with great urgency to protect their revenues by leveling the play field when it comes to sales tax collection.
Please do not park in handicapped loading spaces
I work at Uniquely Yours at 443 Main Street. The front of the store is a no-parking handicapped loading zone. Too many times we find that vehicles are parked in that zone — sometimes for hours, other times for just a few minutes. Please understand the importance of keeping this zone clear.
Some of the individuals who work at the store cannot use the back entrance. For others the promptness of their coming and going to work is critical to other life factors such as mealtimes, toileting, and medication administration schedules. The delay that can be caused by a vehicle blocking that zone can carry great impact, aside from the fact that it is against the law and beyond inconsiderate.
Just for a moment, try to put yourself in the position of someone who cannot walk, communicate clearly, and manage their own bathroom needs or otherwise care for themselves. Please park in accordance with what is indicated on the signs.