We don’t need no stinking taxes!
We’ve known it for some time now, the budget is a mess. It looks like the gap is $11.5 million and the Chairman just asked for a 20% increase in the millage rate. Sure, the Chairman says that it is only an additional $101.50 per year for him and it may very well be. Basically, for every $100k your house is worth, it is only an additional $56.40 in property taxs. You know that those people in the half million dollar homes can afford an additional $282 per year in taxes. Besides, they have probably lost about 20% in value over the past 5 years or so, putting them back where they came from.
When put into those terms, the Chairman’s request sounds reasonable. I mean, who wants to cut parks and rec? What about the kids? The Chairman even went on to tug at the heart strings of the employees; “We’re going to ask the county employees not to worry about their families, but we want them, the medical team and the police to worry about our families. We’re not willing to ask ourselves to worry about their families?”
The issue isn’t so much the homeowners, it is the business owners. You see this tax hits them as well. It has been reported that 16 businesses invested $217m in 2010. That is an additional $122k in taxes. Now that may not sound like a lot of money, but when counties are competing for jobs and businesses, it sure doesn’t help. Think about it this way, in 2009 it was estimated that there were 64,940 single family homes in Hall County. If the average price of a single family home is $120,200, then the total tax increase from single families would only be about $4.4m. That means that the majority of the tax increase would be on our businesses.
We need to focus on our essential services and try to make Hall County a valuable place to live. We can overcome these issues in time. Let’s look at short term pain for long term gain. By pricing ourselves right, we can grow our way out of this. If we grow out of it, it not only means more tax revenue, but it means jobs that can help pay for the niceties a government can provide.
Hugh Hall County Akston