Monday, April 21, 2008

Does it get better than this?

I am posting this to show where strict philosophical / political POV meets the ground. In the ground's own words.

Thank you so much, but...
Monday, April 21, 2008 12:16 PM CDT | Jefferson Post
We have seen with concern a remarkable amount of outside interest in what is purely and simply a local matter: the upcoming vote on the county transfer tax.

We have received several letters to the editor from groups in Raleigh opposing the tax. We have deferred publication of these, only to give space to letters on both sides from local citizens.

Now we have in hand a study on the subject done by the John Locke Foundation, a Raleigh-based conservative/libertarian think tank.

We appreciate all this interest, but it is our position that the citizens of Ashe County are quite capable of deciding how they wish to be taxed without all this outside help. One wonders where these groups were back in the fall of 2001, when our county was shattered by plant closings and West Jefferson’s downtown had far too many “for rent” signs in storefronts.

Historically, Raleigh tends to ignore us here, which is generally fine with us. A notable exception is Jim Long, commisssioner of Insurance, who has done so much for our local fire departments and rescue squads. Now we seem to have suddenly become the focus of quite a few folks inside the Raleigh Beltline.

The transfer tax issue is fairly simple. We face some financial challenges in this county, specifically paying for two major capital projects, the new law enforcement center and the library expansion. Both are important and necessary -- though we believe the services offered by the improved library will, in the future, reduce the need for a jail here. At the same time, county government is facing the same staggering cost of gas and fuel oil we are all facing. That is the reality.

We, as citizens of the county, must pay these bills. The question is how -- by increasing the ad valorem (property) tax or having a transfer tax for non-family land sales. We do not believe this is all such a mystery that our citizens are not capable of deciding how we, as a county, shall pay our bills.

We hope our new-found friends in Raleigh will not forget us after May 6, as we struggle to deal with the serious layoffs and transfers now taking place at Leviton. We trust they will have the same interest, as we struggle to face this and many other challenges here in the “Lost Province.”


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