Sunday, November 29, 2009

"it makes me think"
Says County commissioner who is charged with a tax that he created

The Oregonian --

Commissioner Roy Rogers from Tigard, who has been a Commissioner since 1985 understands all too well why there are "system development charges" for parks and schools, electrical, mechanical and building permit fees as he was one of the individuals who was responsible for implementing and voting for increases of these fees.

"Government needs money and I don't take any exception to that."

However, as the old saying goes, "the shoe is now on the other foot." When Mr. Rogers decided it was time to replace cubicles with offices at his accounting firm, he got a taste of his own medicine that business owners face when they try to build or expand.

$6,700 traffic impact fee... $700 wastewater fee for a $700 sink installation.

The traffic impact fee, Rogers voted to create it in 1990 and since then has approved annual increases to it. Needless to say that he was startled when he learned how much the fee was especially since his expansion wouldn't be adding any new people or cars.

He began to wonder why projects like this that don't add any road wear and tear should be of such a large sum. welcome to the real world Mr. Rogers, government normally doesn't have to justify their reasons.

"I'm really mixed on this thing," he said. "It's an imperfect system."

and then there is this little bar sink in his office for tossing out guests coffee or pop. The sink plus the installation costs was about $700. The Clean Water Service Charges ended up to be $700 including a $50 processing fee.

Rogers who approved the sewer agencies fee amount each year because he and other county commissioners double as its board of directors, knows that the money is supposed to help pay for the burden added to the wastewater system, however, he didn't realize it would be that high for a sink that he uses once a month.
"wow, that seems a little unusual," said Rogers

And Mr. Rogers gets another dose of reality when he discovers that there is a $1217.32 lien on his property. The lien itself was for $360 of uncompensated labor and materials with the balance being for fees such as a $500 lien fee, $300 title report a $52 recording fee and a five dollar finance charge.

Mr. Rogers told his general contractor that he paid everything that was owed him. The contractor agreed. However, the company had subcontracted some of the work out and had a dispute with the subcontractor and therefore did not pay the bill. The subcontractor instead of sending a revised bill, put a lien on Rogers property.

State law directs subcontractors if they wish to file a lien to place it against the property owner's property, even if the balance had been paid in full to the original contractor.

get me out of this," Mr. Rogers told the contractor, which had his insurance coming takeover so Rogers would be off the hook

Rogers is glad that he got a firsthand look at the process and even though he now has a better idea of what they mean, he still stands by his vote.

"We get isolated a bit," he said of elected officials. "We're all trying to do the right thing. But what's the right thing? There's nothing wrong with debating issues and saying ,'Is it flexible enough?

A tax they came back to bite its owner. This is hilarious, a county commissioner got to experience first-hand of the consequences that a little tax here and a little taxpayer, "it's only a penny or two increase" no big deal really starts to add up.

$700 tax for a $700 sink. The same reason why a lot of people have moved away from their home phones where their taxes and fees have reached beyond the 55% of the bill.

As Mr. Rogers stated, "government needs money...", and I do not disagree with him. However, the government needs to learn how to spend more wisely. Just like the rest of us has to, if we wish to survive.

The attitude that we need money for projects, and all we have to do is pass a tax or fee increase to get the money for those projects, Mr. Rogers is correct, they do get a bit isolated from the source of the money and the impact that it has.

So Mr. Rogers, I do not feel sorry for you one bit. In fact, I think it's wonderful that you actually got a taste of your own medicine. And I hope that you take that knowledge and use it wisely.


Blogger OregonGuy said...

And then they wonder why we attempt to go around the rules.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Put the sink in yourself, screw the permits! Roy Rogers, pathetic little man.

6:04 AM  
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