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Vern Kepler, Published November 07 2010

Fargo uses Cass Commission to force unfair tax on county

Fargo residents have their way, using the Cass County Commission as their minions to tax the whole county for their flood control project.

The voting numbers, released by The Forum, tell the reader, without a doubt, that rural Cass was overwhelming against this measure; that is now an indisputable fact.

There is no doubt that Fargo needs to do something, but exploiting the whole of Cass County is truly unfair and beyond the pale. Furthermore, if the Cass County Commission had created a special assessment district and spread this $220 million over the period of 20 years, rural Cass would not be affected. Why? Because there is no benefit. Now rural Cass is being taxed for a benefit that does not exist.

Why did the city of Fargo want its minions on the County Commission to do its bidding for this tax? Really quite simple. If Fargo would have done it, the threshold would have been 60 percent, whereas if the County Commission did their bidding, the threshold would only be 50 percent. So it would be much easier to exploit the taxpayers of Cass County, using the county to do its bidding.

We in rural Cass have long realized that the Cass County Commission does not represent rural Cass.

All we need to do is look at the makeup of the County Commission and realize that those member are residents of imperial Fargo and West Fargo, and the small surrounding area; that rural Cass does not and has not had a voice on that commission for a very long time.

I have lived in rural Cass for nine wonderful years. We moved to escape the clutches of imperial Fargo, but now we find its tentacles, exploiting us yet again, using the Cass County Commission to do its bidding.

Ever hear of the rallying call “taxation without representation is tyranny”? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Kepler is a Fargo businessman who lives near Wheatland, N.D.