With governments across the country paralyzed by anti-tax hysteria, we’re hearing more and more instances of user fees for things that used to be free for taxpayers. Student wants to be in pep band? Pay a fee. Metro needs more money? Jack up fares on riders while more general tax increases are declared dead on arrival.
One Tennessee county is applying that principle to its firefighting services — with disastrous results:
A local neighborhood is furious after firefighters watched as an Obion County, Tennessee, home burned to the ground.
The homeowner, Gene Cranick, said he offered to pay whatever it would take for firefighters to put out the flames, but was told it was too late. They wouldn’t do anything to stop his house from burning.
Each year, Obion County residents must pay $75 if they want fire protection from the city of South Fulton. But the Cranicks did not pay.
The mayor said if homeowners don’t pay, they’re out of luck.
As Tina Dupuy has written, firefighting used to be privately run in America’s early days — and it was bloated, corrupt & inefficient. Is that what the “limited government” movement is taking us back to?