Friday, June 25, 2004

Maplewood Township Committee: The AMT vs The Iraq War

A week or so ago, in a post on Maplewood Online, Sbenois tries to draw a distinction between the TC's Iraq resolution and its similar resolution re: the Alternative Minimum Tax. Sbenois claims that the AMT affects local taxes and as such is fair game, while the war doesn't affect local taxes and thus is NOT a topic for the TC. He's certainly entitled to his opinion - though it is more self-aggrandizing than it is true.

A recent study from The Institute for Policy Studies entitled "Paying the Price: The Mounting Costs of the Iraq War" shows that the Iraq war will, by the end of 2004, have cost the average US household over $3400. If that amount of money had NOT been spent in Iraq, it just MIGHT have been available to pay for the things that our local property taxes are paying for now. I don't know about Sbenois, but I would much rather have that $3400 going into the South Orange/Maplewood schools than into the pockets of Halliburton's (current AND former) executives.

So - Was the TC wrong to pass a resolution asking for action on the AMT? Not at all; it IS a problem for many Maplewood residents. Should they have passed their Iraq resolution? By Sbenois' own standards, absolutely - the tax implications adversely affect not just some but ALL residents of Maplewood.

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