County wants to raise sales tax without a plan

info@islandpacket.comDecember 7, 2013 

I pray others are annoyed after reading about the proposed Beaufort County referendum to increase the sales tax to 14 percent. The goal is to put an extra $350 million at the disposal of County Council. The article indicates that the council hasn't decided yet why it needs this extra money, but, by golly, they will be creative in deciding how to spend it.

How many $850,000 dynamometers could they buy? Wow, with 411 of them, we could become a veritable Detroit. Oops, that didn't turn out so well, did it? Either for Beaufort or for Detroit. It never does. Despite good intentions, we cannot replace the free marketplace.

My property taxes increased more than 10 percent this past year. I don't see evidence that the man we hired to manage our county government or the people we elected to represent us and oversee him have placed frugality as a number one priority. In fact, they seem to be absolutely giddy at the prospect of getting their hands on $350 million dollars of other people's money to fund their pet projects.

It is almost like my dreaming of winning the lottery and thinking of how generous I might be with the money, but meanwhile being a regular Scrooge with respect to charitable giving.

Sadly, there is no free lunch. Why not put our thinking caps on and brainstorm about things that county government should not be doing? We citizens can keep our own money and spend it however we wish.

James Pennell


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