No Trust on Taxes
To raise or lower taxes on hardworking Americans has set the tone for the national presidential debate, but it also very near and dear to the heart of valley residents. On June 3rd Madison County voted against raising the sales tax half a cent to support the three school districts. It was defeated handily by two-thirds of the voters; however, the Madison County Commission still has the power to levy this tax and increase taxes on the residents regardless of the June 3rd countywide vote.
There have been a myriad of meeting and votes by the commission in the past concerning the half cent sales tax and residents should be concerned, especially based on past experience when the commissioners went against the public referendum in 1983 and imposed a half cent sales tax after the 1984 election. So it is highly probable that after the November 4th election the sales tax issue could come up for a new vote by the commission and this time, like in 1984, it might just pass. School boards and proponents of the tax have been biding their time waiting for the right time to push the board into a vote – many have said that time is after the general election. This gives the commissioners four years to smooth over the ‘sure to follow public outcry’ and given most voters short-term memory I believe some on the board think they can weather the short term storm and still feel they will still be re-elected in 2012.
Who are the key players? Staunchly against the tax increase and supporting the will of the voters are County Commissioner’s Mo Brooks – District 5 and Faye Dyer –District 2. Commissioners Dale Strong – District 4 and Bob Harrison – District 6 have stated they would only support the tax if the school boards agree to build or improve schools within their districts.
There are two strong proponents FOR the half cent sales tax. The first is Commissioner Roger Jones – District 1 who has a long history of supporting the tax increase and but not supporting allowing the voters to have a say in this important matter. In fact, Roger Jones was one of only two commissioners who supported the tax hike in a vote on September 29th 2006, and in the same meeting voted not to allow a public referendum on the issue. Also, Commissioner Jerry Craig – District 3 who has stood beside Roger Jones in every one of his votes in favor of the half cent sales tax and again Commissioner Craig has been against a public vote on the issue.
This local election is too important to trust commissioners who would raise your taxes unilaterally, who would oppose a public vote on an issue as important as this and who do not see that our residents already are making tough decisions with high prices at the pump, high taxes on food, and a slowed down economy. Do you really trust these liberal commissioners will not vote again to raise your taxes after November 4th, 2008?