I read the Empire editorial about keeping the light on local government – vote ‘No” on HB 275. It was full of disingenuous dribble meant to instill fear that somehow government information was going into hiding. Clearly the rants of an industry that might lose its state mandated access to your property tax dollars.
The publisher of the Empire spent Thursday afternoon telling the Chamber of Commerce how it was moving to online-based news. On Sunday he tells us how dangerous it would be for government to do the exact same thing. People are getting information differently than from a printed newspaper. Loss of advertising revenue is reflecting the reduced audience.
If the Empire is so concerned about getting government information out and “its not the money” then they should provide the publishing they want mandated for free. Rather, the Empire is demanding that you, the citizens, pay them through your property taxes to get this done. If it is important news, they should cover it as news.
The notices discussed will be posted for the Empire and the public to see. If the Empire is interested in disclosure, and “its not the money” they can create a hot link in their online content. They can access the link and print it every day of the year. No one is keeping any information from anyone. The suggestion is that government need not pay the Empire to keep its citizens informed.
What the Empire fails to tell you is that HB 275 is a permissive bill. It would require a local ordinance to change how public notices are posted. This allows municipalities to decide if they want to give property tax money to businesses like the Empire or save the property taxpayers money by utilizing changing technology.
When the folks that buy paper by the carload and ink by the barrel start yelling with righteous indignation, you can bet it IS about the money, this time its your tax dollar.