County Council needs courage to vote no

newsroom@islandpacket.comMarch 21, 2014 

I am offering my services free of charge to the Beaufort County Council to facilitate a seminar on the merits of voting no on the proposed referendum to increase the sales tax by 1 percent.

We shouldn't, even if it is possible, fund all of the county's nice-to-have projects. We the people have the intelligence to know that passing a 1 percent sales tax and reducing real estate tax by 70 percent is a tax increase.

Government does not create revenue without unintended consequences. A recent example of this is the state's tax increase on second homes and business property. Two things resulted: 1. The value of non-owner occupied properties plummeted in value, reducing their taxed value 2. Business owners were forced to raise prices, resulting in a silent tax increase for everyone.

All of us who have served on boards know it is easy to spend other people's money. Our school board has proven that money thrown at poor performance isn't always the answer.

Now we are being asked to support a tax increase because we may need it or we will surely find a worthy project. Most voters believe we're better at spending our money than government.

A no vote doesn't mean you hate children, parks, roads or infrastructure. It means fiscal responsibility is more important. We don't need a tax increase just because it is allowed. A no vote takes courage.

Bob Gregory

Hilton Head Island

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