Washington County Commissioner Josh WarburtonI can think of several compelling reasons why you should vote for me for Washington County Commissioner, but here are a few.

I’m the only candidate that opposes the Lake Powell Pipeline project and the massive inevitable increases in taxes and fees that it represents. If we move forward with this $6–8 billion project, it will for certain raise taxes and fees, and this is how.

Water rates will go up for the end-users to pay for this huge project. Impact fees to build a new home will go up dramatically, which will eventually most likely double the fairly high costs they are now. This will make it nearly impossible for our children or even for most us to afford to build a new home in Washington County.

It has been proposed that new growth will bear the brunt of the outrageous construction expense, so only “new people” will pay for the project. This is simply untrue as most new houses are built for current residents, and in reality the cost increase will make Washington County far less attractive for people to move to as the cost to move and build here becomes prohibitive.

Property taxes will also increase since they are based on assessed value, and anyone who knows anything about real estate knows that those assessed values will go up along with the costs to build new homes because of impact fee increases.

Additionally, it’s been proposed that the State of Utah, and therefore all taxpayers in the state, will pay a portion of this gigantic water project. I’ve got news for you, folks: Washington County is in Utah, so your state taxes will increase accordingly.

We can discuss alternatives to the pipeline that I support. We can discuss the fact that we’re in a drought that has lasted over 14 years. We can discuss the fact that Lake Powell is at historic levels and that even the Washington County Conservancy District is taking climate change models into account in projecting the decreasing flow of the Colorado River — which makes depending upon it seem like a pretty bad idea, at best — but the future water supply is simply impossible to predict.

What is predictable are death and taxes, and we simply don’t need to add to Washington County residents’ tax burden with the increase of the four taxes and fees that would do much damage to the local economy, possibly dooming it. We’re all going to die, but we don’t have to pay a lot more taxes, which all of us in Washington County will if the Lake Powell Pipeline is built — bottom line.

Now that I’ve used up the bulk of my space on one issue let me be brief on the others. We badly need a county animal shelter, and although there has been much talk this year about it, there’s been almost no action. To my knowledge, there have been just three meetings so far this year about it, and it’s August now. I’ve got some great ideas and was at two of those meetings when few others were present. Elect me if you’d like to see this important project get done, and sooner than later. The proposed shelter will be a no-kill shelter, well utilize volunteer inmate labor to rehabilitate both offenders and animals, and will be an extremely cost-effective use of your hard-earned tax dollars.

I will work to increase our sheriff’s officers’ wages to be more in line with the wages of our municipal police department officers. The increases are way overdue, and while the Washington County Commission was secretly stashing away millions of dollars for a new administration building, our hard-working officers haven’t received raises in five years. They deserve better, and the right thing to do is to bond for said building if the people would like to vote for us to have it.

I’m independent of any party and beholden to no one but the citizens of Washington County. A lifelong unaffiliated voter, I will vote with my conscience on every issue and am not going to cave under pressure from party officials of any persuasion since I’ve never been a part of any party.

I represent something different in politics, someone who leads with the heart and cares about everyone. That sounds unusual for a politician, but that’s because I’m not a politician, I’m a human who’s decided to serve his fellow man in a new capacity.

I ask for your vote in November. If you’d like to help my campaign, please email me at ipc@infowest.com, call me at (435) 632-1555, or go to JoshWarburton.com to find out more about what I believe. Please spread the word and consider donating to this historic campaign to elect the first non-Republican in Washington County in decades. Peace be with all of you!

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