Tax hike. Property or sales tax? My comments are prompted by the letter to the editor by Gary Griffith.
I don’t know the wording of the oath taken by the members of the Patrick County Board of Supervisors, but I am sure that “keeping my job” is not included in the oath. I took many oaths in my 21 years in the Navy: the enlistment oath, the re-enlistment oaths, and the oath when I was commissioned an officer.
None of them had anything about my own personal well-being. I took oaths to “preserve and protect,” but not to preserve and protect my own skin or job. I assume that the oath taken by every commissioner is equally altruistic.
Assuming the figures Gary Griffith gives in his letter to the editor are correct, it seems to me that the decisions made by the board of supervisors are either to preserve their jobs or to take the “easy” path. Neither is part of their job. The health and well-being of the county (all citizens of the county) and the schools is their job.
If one option is easy and nets approximately $340,000 for the schools, and another is more difficult but nets approximately $2,257,000, is there any question in the mind of any sane person which option should be taken? A sales tax rate increase of 1/4 percent ($1,128,000) or 1/8 percent ($564,250) would net considerably more and be far from disastrous to the pocketbook of the citizens.
What are the disadvantages of a minuscule increase in sales tax? Is it that it must be on the a ballot instead of a vote by the board? Would it not be possible to make it clear to the public just exactly what the impact of the increase would be on individuals as well as on the funds available for our schools? Certainly there are answers to these questions, and the questions need to be asked and answered.