Two of our commissioners took a stand on the issue of a millage rate increase of 1.50 mills at the time when we can least afford it. Three from the south end of the county caved in and did not fulfill a campaign promise of "no new taxes!" They believe that they did the right thing for the citizens of this county, regardless of the current state of the overall economy. Like most politicians they are just too insulated from the average, hard working citizen to know or care what is happening to the middle class. Their minds were made up prior to any of the required public hearing and that is the very reason that the attendance was down as the three meetings progressed. There was a comparison of the surrounding counties with respect to the ranking with them on the county millage rates. Prior to the vote, we were near the bottom and only Glynn county has a lower rate. The leaders blamed the elder population for the so-called short fall along with the school millage rate as an easy scape goat.
The leaders faced an angry group of voters a few years back with the ever increasing assessment value and panned the Stephens-Day value freeze for the implemented homestead exemption that has been a help to seniors and younger homeowners alike. Their attitude is that it was a mistake and they need the money for pet projects and to grow the government. So, a pass was given for 1.25 mills with a fire protection increase of $25.00 per household. This is supposed to be more fair and spread the pain of ever increasing governmental costs to us as citizens.
The real problem is that these folks make promises in the campaign mode to never raise taxes and to be a one term servant of the average person. They become tainted by their
governmental peers and go along to get along as they become entrenched at the public trough. First, they would not freeze the assessment process, then there was a massive increase of the salary of those so-called public servants, now there is a tax increase while we are still in a great economic recession/depression. The fate of Greece, Spain, or a number of other countries may well be what is in store for us. Detroit just went that way from a level of economic excellence unheard of in this country, and other cities are on the brink and will surely follow.
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