Does Ashe County really need more tax dollars?
Our county commissioners are continuing to threaten, “If you don’t vote for the Land Transfer Tax, we will raise your property taxes.” It is high time we as taxpayers take a good look at Ashe County revenues and spending.
These are the facts:
The Commissioners intend to spend new tax revenue on capital improvements for schools and for debt service on the new law enforcement center and library expansion. County Commissioners plans are not legally binding. The truth is once passed the new revenues may be used for any legal purpose.
Ashe County has reserves that are almost 4 times the states requirement. Ashe County today has $4.5 million in cash that could be spent. That would be 4.6 years of income the transfer tax would generate if real estate sales continue at the current pace. Nationwide real estate sales are in desperate circumstances and local real estate sales are slowing.
Ashe County revenues have grown 22 percent faster than population and inflation since fiscal year 2001. That means an average family of 4 is paying $580.00 more in taxes today than they were in 2001.
Ashe County will receive almost 10 million dollars over the next 10 years from the Medicaid swap. Where is that money going?
Ashe County gave $350,000 in incentives to a few private businesses from 2004 to 2006 Are these businesses still doing business in Ashe County? This is unfair to the hundreds of other business in the county.
Ashe County has or is losing 200 well paid jobs through plant closings but our county commissioners seem to have an insatiable need for more of our money!! They need to quit campaigning for more of our money and start explaining how they are spending what they already have.
Let’s look at Ashe County schools. Over the last 5 years, our student population has grown by 3 percent but school personal have increased 7 percent and local spending adjusted for inflation has grown by 21 percent. State spending on Ashe County schools adjusted for inflation is up 2 percent and federal spending has grown by 7 percent. I believe like most folks, we want our young people to have a good solid education however we all have to live within our means. How many Ashe county citizens have seen their income increase by 21 percent? The school district needs to show taxpayers how the 21 percent was used and how the $4.3 million in state money for capital improvements over the next ten years will be spent.
The only conclusion a reasonable person can draw is WE NEED NO TAX OF ANY KIND. Please vote NO on May 6th.
Data source: The John Locke Foundation