Hale’s plan for continued funding: Part 1 of 2

Published 7:00 am Friday, June 5, 2015

As you may have heard by now, I am retiring from public office at the end of this current supervisor’s term ending December 31st, 2015. After almost 30 years of public office, I’m still not satisfied with the progress in this county and it isn’t because great men didn’t have great ideas but rather the lack of funds has hampered sustainable development in this county.
To address this issue as well as the future needs of the citizenry of this county I know that a countywide 1 percent sales tax increase on everything currently being taxed at the 7 percent state rate will put this county in great financial shape for years to come. It will also address infrastructure needs as well as create an environment for not only home ownership growth but small business growth too.
Now the people whom I have discussed this with in the past realize this is a tax and they’re concerned about future boards straying away from the original plan.
All those concerns can be addressed in the structure of the local and private bill that would need to be adopted as a result of being supported by a majority of the registered voters in this county. My plan makes so much sense to fellow board members who have struggled with funding over the years that I’m sure they would implement it in a heartbeat if we had the authority. Let me lay out how this would work.

(1) A 1 percent sales tax levy for the county coffers was projected in 2010, based on data from the State Tax Commission covering the worst four months during the worst two years of the recession, to produce $3.1 million a year in revenue if it was collected at that rate. This means that there were 20 months during this period that actually would have generated more revenue. I’m trying to be conservative as possible with my estimates but I think it would produce more like $4.5 to 5.5 million a year.

(2) I want to structure the bill associated with this proposal in a manner to hold future boards accountable to the citizens. I would have written in the bill that this money could not be spent as accumulated but placed in an interest bearing account until time for the regular budgeting process. The fund total must be made public once a month as it is accumulated to make sure no unauthorized spending has taken place during the year.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

See part two in next week’s edition for more on this topic.

By Anthony Hales