04/23/08 — Party of two ... Now there is reason to look closely at future of taxes

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Party of two ... Now there is reason to look closely at future of taxes

Uh, oh.

Just when you thought it was safe to think about perhaps giving the OK to the county to collect a little bit more money, out comes the news — the city of Goldsboro is considering a tax hike, too.

And then there were two ... did your wallet shudder?

Keep in mind that Wayne County has only begun to consider future needs — and how to pay for them. There are still a whole bunch of projects that need to be done in the schools — and there will need to be money coming from somewhere to pay for all those obligations.

Want to guess where that money is going to come from?

Now, before you put a for sale sign in front of your house and head for the backwoods where the only collections you have to worry about are pinecones, let’s think seriously about Wayne County’s future.

There are infrastructure needs that must be taken care of in the county and in the city — and investing in those projects will have a long-term reward for anyone who hopes to buy or sell property here someday.

Getting the schools in shape is also important — and a priority for most county residents. This is another area that could be considered as much an investment as a responsibility. Getting facilities in line and giving the schools additional money to address dropouts, performance and keeping quality teachers is a great way to put Wayne County on the map as a community that is family-friendly.

So what’s a taxpayer to do? Give money to everybody?

The wise decision now is to prioritize. And that means looking hard at where we want to go and what it will take to get there. Then, we will have to set timeframes and decide when to fund what.

And that means deciding right now if we want to support a sales tax increase — or if we would like to see a bond issue for school improvements later. It means deciding if we want conditions put on a sales tax hike or if we want to support the idea now and worry about what else we will have to pay later.

All this means that there is going to be a lot of discussion about taxes and their use in the next two weeks. Step up now and send in your thoughts.

Now is the time to plan ahead before the price goes up.

Published in Editorials on April 23, 2008 11:15 AM