Make the case for sales tax
A little more information should be forthcoming before Greenwood residents readily jump on board the tax train.
On the heels of Greenwood County's capital expenditure penny sales tax rolling off the books, the city's mayor, Welborn Adams, is suggesting a penny local option sales tax, part of which would fund additional law enforcement for the city's police department.
On the surface, this seems to have its merits; after all, there has been growth, and certainly we have witnessed a growth in crime.
We might be at the risk of sounding like those who don't write checks to PBS, even when the publicly funded network warns us by not opening our checkbooks we might well be signing a death warrant for "Sesame Street." Make no mistake: We are as in favor of a solid police force to combat crime and help keep the streets and neighborhoods safe as anyone, including the mayor and City Council. It's just we would like to see more information, receive more details about exactly how this proposed penny tax would be administered. Just as important, we would like to know the proposed lifespan of the penny tax.
Adams said the tax, which would require a countywide referendum for approval and implementation, would be used in part to roll back property taxes. That, much like funding police officers, has a good ring to it. Opposing the rollback of taxes and the provision of a strong police department is tantamount to a candidate announcing he is against education, motherhood and baseball.
Here's how it would work, with the current proposal: 71 percent of the revenue from the tax would go toward property tax rollback; the remaining 29 percent would be split between the city and county. While there is no word on how the county would apply its portion, Adams said the city's share would be applied to the city police department to hire additional officers.
We are not saying we oppose the idea, at least not at this point. In theory, the sales tax would provide tax relief to residents while strengthening the city's law enforcement, all with the help of many non-residents who come here to shop. But unlike the county's most recent capital project tax that built the new county library and provided dollars for work to be done at Buzzard Roost Dam, this tax has no sunset clause attached to it. At least not in its present form as proposed.
The mayor has initially pleaded a decent case. He, along with the city and county councils, if they endorse the idea, simply need to provide more details. In short, they will need to make their case - a strong case, at that - before the voters, especially in this day and time when people are saying they are "taxed enough already." A referendum would not be on the ballot until 2014, so there is plenty of time to build and make the case for yet another sales tax.
Posted: Friday, October 5, 2012
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Vote County wide
Is this going to be like other things that have been talked about lately? Vote coming up on alcohol sales and will only be voted on by city, but will effect the whole county. Talk of no text-ing but will only be in the city? Building parks for kids to play, do kids in the county not like to play? We already have taxes for hospitality that are only used by city. We have a tax for repair on the dam which was used for the book store and still no work on the dam. How many more years are we going to pay that tax? People losing jobs, plants closing and our hero of a mayor that looks out for the city and could careless about the county wants to increase taxes. We Floyd back, he seem to look out for the whole county and it seems this mayor is only interested in what he can do for the city.
Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012
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No more taxes please!
Interesting how the city can request a "tax" to pay for more law enforcement, but can't request a tax for more parks and recreational activities for youth and families. Larger cities have taxes for such activities and the quality of life for families in general improve greatly.
I'd much rather pay taxes for tutoring, after school programs, parks & rec, and diverse youth programs rather than pay additional taxes law enforcement (and don't get me wrong I am grateful for our protection), jails, and public defenders. Ignoring the problems some pockets of people in Greenwood won't make them go away. Getting a cover and putting on the dirty laundry won't hide that smell either! Getting more law enforcement is easy. Getting to the root of the problem is too much work I guess.
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