Resident voices opposition to Capital Sales Tax
On August 12th, I attended the monthly meeting of Barnwell County Council. Chairman Houston called the meeting to order. The Public Hearings were first on the agenda so Chairman Houston opened the floor to hear statements from the public on two different issues:
To receive comments prior to the third reading to sell a lot on Calhoun Street.
To receive comments to the third reading of an Ordinance Related to Capital Sales Tax.
At his instructions, I stood at the podium, faced the council and gave my statement on the Ordinance Related to Capital Sales Tax. I opposed it and gave my reason: Business has closed, many workers have taken lower paying jobs, and many of the citizens of Barnwell are retired and on fixed incomes. These citizens have to adjust their spending to fit their new budgets. The county is facing lower tax revenues and needs to do the same as the citizens. Do not spend what you do not have. What needs to be done - bring new businesses and jobs into the area, and businesses that will actually open for operation and stay long enough for it to benefit the county.
Councilman Houston spent the next five minutes or more telling me I felt this way because I did not understand the difference between Related Capital Sales Tax and property tax. Also the Council felt it would be fair to everyone to raise Capital Project Sales Tax than impose higher property taxes. I agree on this last statement.
A short time later a young man stood at the podium and asks this question: If the Capital Sales tax is raised, does that mean there will be no property tax raised? The answer was No.
Chairman Houston and County Council, I assure you that I fully understand the difference between Capital Sales Tax and property tax. I also realize if the new sales tax is passed in November it will be in effect at least eight years with no guarantee to property tax will not go up also. The vast majority of these projects will benefit citizens within city limits only.
My statement remains the same: Adjust your budget to the current tax revenue. Bring in new jobs in order to raise tax revenues.
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