Jerry Clay Lyle | Elmore
I wish to present a private citizen’s opposing view to the recent, self-serving County Line article your newspaper published called “County Adopts Reduced Budget.”
Our county commission has a strange and interesting way of describing themselves as “fiscally conservative,” as their article asserts. They complain that they have a problem because they have spent more than they have taken in. To them, that means there is a problem with insufficient income—-not unwise expenditures. That is the typical “liberal” reaction to the plight the commission has created with years of give-aways unrelated to the operation of county government.
So, the commission clamors for new taxes. “We don’t have a county wide sales tax; property taxes are too low,” they complain. They say we need “new funding sources.” Even the county commission’s official website states that “additional sources of revenue will be necessary.”
Truth of the matter is, there would be plenty of money to run county government if the tax money was used to run county government. Instead, for years, big chunks of money have been given by the commission to non-government groups or charities at the expense of the local county offices that should have priority over the use of our tax dollars.
For instance, the county is not required by law to be involved in economic development. That is not a function of county government.
With a gambling casino in the county, growth is coming whether you give away money to economic development or not. Yet the county commission has now allotted $500,000 over the next three years to the Tallassee Industrial Development Board, while, at the same time, cutting our law enforcement operations, probate office, and other county services—-claiming it needs more taxes. We are taxed enough already.