In the year 2,000 our county taxes per resident were $285. Today that number has increased to $536 per resident, a $250 per resident increase. More than 2.5 times the rate of inflation! In addition to collecting nearly twice the taxes of the year 2000, during those same years, our county has amassed $24 of debt (17 million debt plus debt service). At the same time we have been losing money in our operations of the highway department and health and human services.
I would challenge you to tell me what you have received for this accelerated spending. Were there new services? New buildings for our county employees, yes, but new services? Better roads? Not really, but for sure higher taxes. There has been a minority of the county board that hasn’t agreed with this spending rate, but because of their minority status, they couldn’t do much about it. We sorely need to change some of the members of this board to ensure the financial future of this county.
As taxpayers of this county, we should expect, and demand our board members and managers to whom we entrust the operations of our county government to be accountable for their actions. What does that mean? Operate within the budget guidelines, be innovative, creative and provide leadership commensurate with the salaries and benefits provided to you by the taxpayer. After all, it is their money.
The elections on April 1 is your chance to speak out. Elections do have consequences!