December 2007 Editorial Winner


Tea Party at NE Tech
By John M. Wylie II, Oologah Lake Leader


Americans staged a Revolution and threw out the British because they would not tolerate taxation without representation.
In fact, they had a little tea party in Boston Harbor to make sure the message was heard.
But the board and administration of Northeast Technology Center apparently never got the word, even though every child studies it in school.
They apparently think it is just fine to propose a 400% permanent tax increase and then hide the election from the public, so only NTC insiders will cast ballots next Tuesday.
It almost worked. Had the Rogers County Election Board not sent out absentee ballots, we would never have known about the tax vote.
And based on two days of investigation very few of the district's more than 210,000 patrons would have known about it either. As County Commission Chairman Kurt Thacker so aptly put it, you can't have a real election if people don't know about it.
But now the facts are out. While we always support investments in education, we cannot and will not support a stealth effort to impose a huge tax increase on Rogers County without giving the voters a legitimate opportunity to make an informed decision.
By hiding the election, NTC has ensured that there is no chance for discussion or debate. There is no chance for those who might think the tax hike is excessive, or that the spending priorities are out of whack, to have their say.
We urge residents to vote no on Tuesday. If NTC really needs the money, let it do the responsible thing and schedule a real election that people know about. Let there be a debate. Who knows, this tax may be completely justified.
But stealth tax increases - especially ones that would be virtually impossible to repeal - are simply unacceptable.
Don't vote no. Call your friends and neighbors and let them know about this outrage. We need a huge turnout to tell the folks at NTC, "no taxation without representation."
If anyone has the urge, Paul Revere riding the roads of Rogers County shouting, "The stealth tax hike is coming, the stealth tax is coming" would be most appropriate.