Coming soon: more taxes?

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Taxes. It’s the other thing in life that is certain.

Outside of meeting the Grimm Reaper, we all know that during the course of our lives various governmental agencies will dip into our hard earned pay for the public good.

Currently the Pearl River County Board of Supervisors is gearing up to propose an extra percentage to sales tax to help fund the efforts of their economic development council.

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It appears to be a variation of the idea presented by former District I Supervisor Anthony Hales, who proposed a very similar idea.

The exception is that Hales proposed the extra tax as a way to fund county coffers to help ease the burden on property owners.

Hales’ idea carried some weight. By charging tax on things people typically buy, the county would be able to benefit from sales tax just like municipalities in the state.

It ensures everyone in the county is kicking something into the budget, not just those who own a business or property.

At the same time, there’s something to be said for forming a committee dedicated to promoting economic development in the county, so it may need some financial backing.

If this council’s efforts prove successful, not only would that bring in more businesses and therefore people, those additional people and their salaries would increase the tax base.

But what if those efforts are not successful?

As I recall the Board hired a firm to perform the same task a few years ago, but that firm did not provide the expected results.

So, if the committee ends up with the same outcome, can we “fire” it?

Somehow, we need to promote Pearl River County as a viable place to not only live, but also work and play.

But in my opinion, if the county was to start collecting sales tax on hotel rooms and prepared food, those funds should be used to bring our ad valorem taxes down, not on a newly established committee without a history.