Take a good look at our Beaufort city government:
Millions of dollars have been spent on a huge redevelopment plan overseen by a hand-picked committee chaired by a person who no longer lives within city limits; the fee to cut a tree has gone from $5 to $35; it purchased an industrial park with nothing on it; there's a proposal to place a commercial building adjacent to the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park; and it increased the annual residential stormwater tax by $40.
And now comes a trial balloon on taxing automobiles, the Technical College of the Lowcountry, churches and Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Where do they stop?
Beaufort Memorial Hospital is a not-for-profit hospital. The city does not financially support it, yet indigent care for residents and bad debt reached $44 million last year. The hospital lost money last year for the first time in about 20 years, and our mayor and council want to tax it?
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Churches depend on donations for financial support. The TCL Foundation and Beaufort Memorial Hospital Foundation are totally dependent on the generosity of concerned citizens from Beaufort County. None wants his or her contribution to philanthropic endeavors to go to city government.
The city population has decreased, city revenue certainly has decreased and property values have gone down. City government must reduce its appetite for more tax schemes and think about those who live here now.
Bill Nettles III
Editor's note: The writer is chairman of the Beaufort Memorial Hospital