Your Opinion: Reject renewal of county sales tax

Dear Editor:

Putting more money in your pocket is as easy as voting against the renewal of the county capital improvements sales tax on June 7.

Given the current state of the economy, we taxpayers need a break. County government does not seem to feel the economic pinch like the rest of us. In tough times, we spend less and the same should apply to county government.

While our economy languishes the county commission proposed raises for county employees; overspent on the jail and had to take money from general revenue to pay for the jail; and told us we wouldn’t need the old jail and now plans to continue using it; can’t seem to distribute tax correctly, and has extra ambulances sitting idle. The list seems to go on and on.

We all know that our real estate is not worth what it used to be but there has been no mass reduction in assessed values for property. In essence, the county just ignores the issue and doesn’t lower assessed value of property because they would lose tax revenue.

Of the $26 million this tax would generate, “special projects” account for 40 percent of the planned expenditures — Court House renovation of $3.9 million; St. Mary’s interchange on Highway 179 at $5.5 million and a contingency (slush fund) of $900,000. These three categories amount to 40 percent of the tax and will do little, if anything to fix roads in the county. The plan only allocates a total of $700,000 to villages in Cole while spending twice that much on equipment replacement.

It is time we taxpayers helped the county to tighten its belt and put more money in our pockets by voting against the renewal of this sales tax.

Please vote no on June 7.

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