Some people joke about it.
Heck, why not.
Laugh for fear of crying, right?
Anderson County is looking at an 18.25-cent property tax increase and that just about breaks the camel’s back, doesn’t it?
Except it could be worse.
Ever hear of a wheel tax? Let your county leaders slap one of those on you and see how you like it. If you have a car, your significant other has a car, your 2.5 children have cars …
And let’s say the wheel tax is $35 per vehicle, so multiply that $35 times 4.5 and that takes a serious bite out of your scratch off ticket budget.
And the argument that a property tax rate increase only affects those who own property is flimsy at best.
You think landlords don’t pass on that hike with higher rent?
Well, maybe if you rent from Mother Theresa, but I don’t think she owns property here.
The average “value” of a home in Anderson County is right at $150,000, so that’s roughly an additional $75 per year added with this new proposal. That’s average.
That’s a meal out a month? Two packs of smokes? Something like that.
And believe it or not Anderson County has just made it so that the property tax bill doesn’t come as such a shocker. Nobody wants to get a bill for $800 in October — not with Christmas coming up; higher winter heating bills; maybe an IRS bill hanging over you in April — to worry about until February.
You can set up monthly installments on your tax bill. Don’t smirk, this is a very, very good plan.
If you own a McMansion and its worth $600,000 then you’re getting up into numbers I don’t understand so let’s not go there.
But I feel for you, anyway.
I don’t think there is a simple solution.
I try to comfort myself and look at it like this:
The cost of dog food goes up, as does the cost of coffee, gas, light bulbs, paper, ink pens, tube socks, and paper plates.
I’m just going by stuff I buy.
I don’t know everything the county buys, what officials need to keep the government running smoothly, but I don’t think what the county government purchases — staples for example — is getting cheaper.
And I don’t think people who work for a government — those who provide services to you and yours — should have to live in poverty.
And if you want your government services manned by people who don’t mind living in poverty then be prepared to be disappointed.
And while I’m trolling here, why don’t you contact your state legislators and tell them to get on the ball and quit balancing the state budget on the back of counties. Tell those yahoos to ante up and make the state pay its fair share.
Then maybe county commissioners won’t have to wrestle and worry about paying for state mandates and state inmates.
They can worry about things like, who’s going to plant flowers at the courthouse.
I’m sure these folks would rather dress like a banana and wrestle a gorilla than make a decision to raise taxes.
I’ve been reporting on things like this a long time and I promise you, it is not easy for these men and women to make these decisions — especially those involving raising taxes.
Your commissioners are your neighbors. They live here. They go to church here. They recreate here. The shop here.
They don’t wake up one morning and just say, “Wow! This would be a good day to raise taxes.”
And you can cry, “Cut, cut, cut, cut!” all you want. Try crying “Cut, cut, cut, cut!” with specific items in mind. And then take the time to look at what those cuts mean not just to the tax rate, but to the long-term health and growth of your community.
And let’s go a step further and you make those cuts and then three years — heck, maybe one year — down the road whatever it was you thought could be cut and slash ends up blowing up in your face.
Yeah, I really thought we could do without maintenance people, too. Now we gotta spend a bunch of money on a new furnace.
Yeah, I didn’t think we needed to fix that roof, either. Does a new building really cost that much?
There are no easy solutions, there’s just life.