Property tax hikes off charts by MrRail


									          O pinion
     Your view
                                                                                                                                               The Herald Journal

                                         in which polluting and disappear-
    Property tax                         ing fossils grow more expensive,
                                         in which clean renewables grow
  hikes off charts                       cheaper. Mr. Brunson suggests the
To the editor:                           Municipal Council is unduly influ-
   Have you received your “Notice        enced by small groups of citizens.
of Property Value & Tax Changes”         My experience is that they listen to
from the Cache County Auditor’s          all who speak. Beyond that, they
office? I have. And I am greatly         can hardly be expected to divine
concerned at the level of increased      the opinions of those who don’t
property tax money to be collected       show up.
from me and my family. Some of              Good public policy can nudge
you may have similar concerns.           communities in directions they
  Including the reassessment of          need to go — as defined by the
my property value (with no new           citizens themselves. While some
improvements, by the way) and            prefer zero government role,
the increased tax rates proposed,        black and white seldom makes
my total property tax bill would         for wise policy. Granted, govern-
increase by 29.42 percent. The           ments shouldn’t incentivize sail
Providence city portion of this          boats — niche industries can sink
would increase by a whopping             or float on their own merits. But
53.03 percent in total! Providence       some industries, critical to every
city’s tax RATE would increase by        segment of society, do require
39.61 percent.                           public attention. Loganites need
  We might rightly ask why such          look no further back than Enron,
huge percentage increases are            for example.
needed. These increases dwarf the           I regularly hear the sentiment:
current inflation rate. Could it be      “I’m all for renewable energy, as
that all the new developments are        long as it doesn’t cost any more.”
not really paying their way? That        Unfortunately it doesn’t work like
all of this “sustainable” growth
(per our public officials) is actu-
ally to be sustained on the backs of
                                         that. Transitioning to renewables is
                                         no small feat; like all great endeav-       Energizing American ingenuity
                                         ors, this one requires investment of By Thad Box
existing residents?                      resources and resolve. But if done                                                      brought news, weather reports and                    warming. He called attention to the
  According to my notice, public                                                                                                 the Grand Ole Opry. The people                       burning of fossil fuel and climate
budget meetings for these increas-
es will take place Tuesday, Aug.
12. The Providence meeting is at
                                         well and sincerely, our ancestors
                                         will look back on our efforts with
                                         profound respect and gratitude.               I was 8 years old when the first
                                                                                  electric light bulb glowed in our
                                                                                                                                 recognized the power of electricity.
                                                                                                                                 Ingenuity and individual initiative,
                                                                                                                                 combined with wage earning jobs,
                                                                                                                                                                                      change. More recently he has chal-
                                                                                                                                                                                      lenged America to become inde-
                                                                                                                                                                                      pendent of fossil fuel in 10 years.
7:30 p.m. and the county meeting         Robert Davies                            home. Dad had a job helping build              began to transform our valley.                       Like Pickens, he would have us
is at 6 p.m. Let’s see how these         Logan                                    Buchanan Dam. After WWII, its                     Today I live in another valley,                   power our homes, transportation
increases are rationalized.                                                       hydroelectric                                  some 1,500 miles from the land                       and economy from the sun, wind
                                                                                  generators                                     of my childhood. I was brought                       and geothermal heat.
Gary Meunier                                  Summerfest                          made elec-
                                                                                  tricity for
                                                                                                                                 here by a job at Utah State Univer-
                                                                                                                                 sity, something made possible by
                                                                                                                                                                                         These two famous Americans
                                                                                                                                                                                      are very different politically. Gore
                                             work rewarding                       a vast pub-
                                                                                  lic power
                                                                                                                                 our country investing in veterans
                                                                                                                                 through the GI Bill.
                                                                                                                                                                                      won the popular vote for president
                                                                                                                                                                                      in 2000. He is a hero to environ-
                                         To the editor:
 Solar incentives                                                                 project that                                      But after all these years, afford-                mentalists. Pickens supported

                                            July 31, 2008, will be the last                                                      able energy is still one of the major                Bush in 2000 and helped sponsor
                                         day I will be employed by and in
a good deal for all                      any way involved with the Sum-
                                                                                  electricity to                                 concerns for the people.
                                                                                                                                    Gasoline is over $4 a gallon.
                                                                                                                                                                                      “swiftboating” John Kerry. But
                                                                                                                                                                                      their plans are remarkably similar.
To the editor:                                                                    towns, cities
                                         merfest Arts Faire organization                                                         Questar has convinced regulators                     And their motivation is the same
   Thoughtful as always, Pete                                                     and homes
                                         and event. It has been a good                                                           to allow them to increase rates. It                  — a free and independent America
Brunson’s recent letter (HJ                                                       throughout central Texas.
                                         two years and I am proud of the                                                         costs Logan city more each month                     where individual initiative contrib-
8/27/08) suggests Logan’s recently                                                   The project was part of FDR’s
                                         work that has been done and the                                                         for electricity. Electric power prices               utes to the common good. Neither
approved solar energy incentive is                                                New Deal. It was designed by
                                         accomplishments achieved. I                                                             on the open market are skyrocket-
poor public policy. I’d like to offer                                             government engineers. It was built                                                                  plan can succeed without both
                                         am especially proud of the Sum-                                                         ing. Fossil fuel generating plants
a different view.                                                                 under the direction of the Works                                                                    private entrepreneurship and a gov-
                                         merfest Arts Faire board of trust-                                                      have replaced all but a couple of
   The incentive in question is                                                   Progress Administration. The elec-                                                                  ernment regulated transmission and
                                         ees, who I have had the extreme                                                         the pioneer hydroelectric plants that
one prong of a pitchfork steering                                                 trical plant was operated by the                                                                    marketing networks.
                                         pleasure of working with and                                                            once lighted our valley. Only pic-
our community toward energy                                                       Lower Colorado River Authority.                                                                        Mr. Pickens convinced the state
                                         getting to know on a professional                                                       tures in historical journals remain.
security — both cost and supply.                                                  The power was distributed and                                                                       of Texas to build transmission lines
                                         and personal level: Stuart How-                                                         Water flows down streams and
It comprises a $2,000 rebate per                                                  marketed by the local Pedernales                                                                    to take his power from windmills
                                         ell, Gary Griffin, Rob Flygare,                                                         canals. Winds drain from moun-
installed kilowatt of home solar                                                  Cooperative formed by the Rural                                                                     to market. The ideal situation will
                                         Kathy Ashcroft, Todd Buetler,                                                           tains, warping trees on the benches.
panels. What does Logan get for                                                   Electric Association.                                                                               have a national transmission net-
                                         Ed Winger, S.E. Needham and                                                                Presidential candidates talk about
the money?                                                                           This alphabet soup of govern-                                                                    work where a Cache Valley farmer
                                         others. These folks worked very                                                         energy plans. Our two senators and
   1. Bargain energy. Year-round,                                                 ment agencies jump-started a                                                                        with a windmill, his neighbor with
                                         hard without concern for personal                                                       Congressman Rob Bishop call for
1-kW systems average 4 kWh                                                        multi-industry economy from an                                                                      a solar panel roof, the town with
                                         recognition to return Summerfest                                                        drilling more oil wells, processing
(kilowatt hours) daily (most homes                                                area of rural poverty. It gave hope                                                                 hydro-electric generators in their
                                         to a quality event our community                                                        oil shale and burning more fossil
consume 8-12 kWh daily). Over a                                                   to people during the Great Depres-                                                                  water mains, a home with a fuel-
                                         can be proud of.                                                                        fuel. All are activities that use finite
30-year system lifetime then, our                                                 sion. Following WWII, the GI                                                                        cell generator, a hot springs resort
                                            As I move forward in life with                                                       resources. Other politicians such
$2,000 buys us clean power at 4.6                                                 Bill educated entrepreneurs and                                                                     turning heat into electricity, a canal
                                         new endeavors, I will take with                                                         as congressional candidate Morgan
cents per kWh, along with renew-                                                  research scientists that used cheap                                                                 company with low-flow generators
                                         me a couple of lessons learned                                                          Bowen, Gov. Huntsman and the
able energy credits which may                                                     electricity to transform the rural                                                                  and large corporations could all sell
                                         through working with these excep-                                                       western governors want to develop
be sold on the open market. For                                                   landscape from subsistence agricul-                                                                 power to the grid. If our valley had
                                         tional people. 1. Be honest in all                                                      wind, water and geothermal energy
comparison, Logan currently pays                                                  ture to a job-producing economic                                                                    a system where individuals could
                                         things. 2. Repay fully each and                                                         sources. Bowen talks about park-
4.5 cents per kWh for coal-based                                                  engine that powers Austin’s high-                                                                   generate and sell small amounts of
                                         every debt I owe. (If you believe                                                       ing lots shaded by solar panels
energy — a price not including                                                    tech research corridor and leading                                                                  energy at a fair price, we might be
                                         you are owed a debt no matter                                                           that recharge electric and hybrid
enormous external costs to envi-                                                  global industries like Dell Com-                                                                    exporting power.
                                         how small or large, please contact                                                      automobiles, and other schemes for
ronment and health, and which is                                                  puter.                                                                                                 But for Mr. Pickens, Hyrum city
                                         me so agreements can be made. I                                                         developing renewable energy.
hardly guaranteed. Further, solar                                                    But Dad didn’t wait for the                                                                      or Farmer Olsen to effectively pro-
                                         may be reached via steve-bower@                                                            While politicians talk, two
systems produce most of their                                                     government to bring electricity to                                                                  duce electricity we need increased
                                3. Be fair to those                                                        internationally known Americans
energy midday, when the city is                                                   our house. With one of his early                                                                    research, individual ingenuity, a
                                         who are not there. 4. Rebuild rela-                                                     — one an oil industry icon and the
often purchasing peaking power                                                    paychecks he bought a used wind                                                                     national grid and marketing sys-
                                         tionships throughout our commu-                                                         other a Nobel Peace Prize winner
from the open market, at substan-                                                 charger. It was a small windmill                                                                    tem. If we-the-people can build
                                         nity. It will be a long road but one                                                    — propose revolutionary programs
tially higher prices.                                                             that turned a 6-volt generator that                                                                 and maintain an interstate highway
                                         worth traveling.                                                                        for energy independence.
   2. Investment in a critical indus-                                             charged a standard automobile bat-                                                                  system, surely we can build and
try. Solar energy’s efficacy will                                                 tery. When the wind blew we could                 T. Boone Pickens is one of the                    regulate a national energy system.
                                         Steve B. Bower                                                                          world’s richest men. He rose from
only increase with time. Recent                                                   choose between listening to a radio                                                                    Neither private enterprise nor
                                         Logan                                                                                   a west Texas wildcatter to owner
events indicate powerful advan-                                                   or a 25 watt light bulb. We couldn’t                                                                government programs alone can
tages for security, economy and                                                   have both.                                     of one of the world’s largest inde-                  make us independent of foreign
environment with accelerated                                                         Granddaddy Box didn’t have a                pendent oil companies. Recently,                     oil. But together, we can wean
implementation.                          letters and                              WPA paycheck. He couldn’t buy                  he spent millions of dollars on an                   ourselves from fossil fuels. We
                                                                                  a wind charger. But he salvaged                advertising campaign telling Amer-                   just need to unleash ingenuity and
   3. Development of local com-          cartoons on
                                         this page
                                                                Product           a generator and a battery from an              icans that our country cannot sur-                   collectively provide ways for indi-
merce. As more homeowners and
businesses take advantage, devel-        may express
                                         opinions that
                                                               Warning            old, wrecked Ford. He whittled                 vive continued dependence on oil.                    viduals to participate. I have seen
opment of locally based solar busi-                                               out windmill blades, cleaned the               He is currently building the largest                 grandpas carving windmill blades
                                         do not align                                                                            windmill farm in the world near
ness is encouraged, adding to the        exactly with
                                                                                  generator brushes and built a wind                                                                  and our government bringing elec-
community’s locally available skill      your own. If                             charger. Uncle Emory made a wind               Amarillo. His plan uses natural gas                  tricity to farms. Both make our
set.                                     you disagree,                            charger out of scrap from a junked             as a temporary bridge to a nation                    nation stronger.
   In short, Logan’s solar incentive     please respond with a letter to the edi- Chevy. Neighbors made others.                  fueled from renewable sources.                       ————————————————
                                         tor, or contact editor Charles McCollum     Before the big hydro-turbines                  Former Vice President Al Gore                     Thad Box is a Logan resident. He can
is not “activist-induced” fantasy,       about a possible guest commentary
but pragmatic investment in a                                                     generated a single watt, small bulbs           was awarded the Nobel Peace                          be reached by e-mail at thadbox@
                                         (Phone: 752-2121 Ext. 320. E-mail: cmc-
future we know must come — one                       twinkled around our valley. Radios             Prize for his work against global          

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