05/18/07 — Budget worries: Keep your fingers crossed; ‘no new taxes’ not really likely

View Archive

Budget worries: Keep your fingers crossed; ‘no new taxes’ not really likely

Is anyone else getting a little bit nervous about just exactly what the final version of the Wayne County budget is going to look like this year?

And even if that is not making you wince, take a minute to imagine your next tax bill.

That will make you swallow hard.

Over the last couple of weeks, officials from nearly all areas under the county’s supervision seem to be sounding the alarm that there are more costs than proposed budget this year.

Add to that continuing questions about the cost of improving school facilities, and you have the makings of a really big surprise when it comes to what it will cost to live in Wayne County in the coming years.

And just to be fair, it is not all the commissioners’ fault.

It costs more to do business these days. To stay competitive as a county when it comes to residential and economic development — the backbones of growth — you have to have the money necessary to maintain and improve infrastructure and services.

So, the bottom line is, if we want to be a growing, vibrant community, we have to look and act like one — and that takes money.

But even if their intentions are good, the county commissioners need to do more opening of the books and more talk about what the costs and needs really are.

Truth is, all road signs are pointing to a need for some sort of tax increase. Now it is time to talk about what is really necessary to keep this county running — school facilities question aside. Then, residents can decide what they want and what they can do without.

The discussion won’t be a pleasant one, but it is better than continuing to ignore the elephant in the room.

Published in Editorials on May 18, 2007 11:19 AM