Patronage is the real reason for a “climate tax”

Printed in the Herald-Times, February 15, 2020

To the Editor:

Why exactly does the city of Bloomington “need” to hike the local income tax to create a Patronage Department in city government? Oops, I just answered my own question! This is just more unnecessary big government.

No, this is not “climate change denial.” If we are to truly address carbon emissions and other air pollution, it will have to be a global effort that takes seriously large polluters like China and India. But even if we only focus on our own nation, what can one small city in the Midwest do? A “climate department” in city government could not shift global temperatures by one billionth of one percent of one degree.

No, the real purpose is to hire more patronage employees in city government on the backs of already burdened taxpayers, and to virtue signal that the mayor “cares” about climate change. That is a bad reason to increase taxes.

Clearly, we need to reform the way income tax increases are passed. City government can implement this unilaterally. Either both city and county government should have an equal voice to implement a “patronage tax” or the income tax hike should apply only to people who live within the city.