06/30/05 — On watch: Citizens should pay attention to how tax increase is spent

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On watch: Citizens should pay attention to how tax increase is spent

Now, it is final.

After weeks of hand-wringing, the county commissioners have finally bitten the bullet and passed a 7.5-cent tax increase.

So, the debate over whether our taxes are going to go up is over — they will.

But that does not mean that the questions should end with the bang of the gavel.

The county has its 7.5-cent increase. Now it is time for a little accountability, too.

Over the next few months, there will be a lot of talking about what is planned for Wayne County — where we need to spend money, what our tax money should be used for and what direction we should set as a community now that the base closure scare is almost over.

And don’t think the debate about the school budget is finished, either. Although the numbers have been set, there are still some questions about promises made and where school funding money is going. After this week’s decisions, we can also add a new question: Who will get to tell whom where school budget money should be spent?

Stay tuned.

And as the discussion continues, Wayne County taxpayers should formulate a few questions of their own: Where will this money go; who is watching that it is spent properly; and how will these new budget numbers translate into a better future for this community?

Now is not the time to sit back and watch to see what will happen.

It is up to the taxpayers of Wayne County — and other watchdogs — to make sure there is still plenty of watching going on when it comes to decisions about Wayne County’s future.

That is the only way to protect our interest, which should be what creates possibilities for this county.

Published in Editorials on June 30, 2005 12:03 PM