Overriding The Tax Cap ?
Sullivan County taxpayers could be facing a 14 percent tax increase if the Sullivan County Legislature overrides the state mandated 2 percent cap on tax levy increases.....but the proposal may face strong opposition from a recently organized Registered Enraged Voters Opposing Legislative Tyranny (R.E.V.O.L.T.) organization and taxpayers throughout the county.
Some legislators have indicated that if everything is kept in this year's budget for next year it would require a 14 percent tax increase,
Legislator Cora Edwards is quoted as saying "we'll have to accept the fact that we'll be doing really well if we keep it (a tax increase) under double digits."
Legislators have said the information available to them indicate the 2 percent cap will not work.
The formation of R.E.V.O.L.T. started soon after the announcement of the proposal to override the state mandated 2 percent cap on tax levy increases.
Supporters of the R.E.V.O.L.T. movement have issued statements urging voting against any legislator that doesn't find a way to lower taxes, suggesting taxpayers to place their tax payments in escrow with an attorney not to be released until the last possible moment to avoid tax sale, that it's time to make Sullivan County the county of the one term politician if they don't lower taxes, if they vote for tax increases vote them out of office.
We consider a proposed double-digit tax increase as dangerous to economically endangered taxpayers who are still facing tough times and just barely able to make mortgage, rent, fuel, gasoline and food payments.
Foreclosures could also escalate if taxes are pushed any higher. Tax foreclosures are said to be at an all time high and high taxes are said to be the number one reason residents move out of the area.
Raising taxes is also not the right thing to do when the unemployment rate in Sullivan County rose last month to 9.7 percent and there are also some 3,300 unemployed folks in the county according to statistics released last week.
Yes, we are aware of unfunded state mandates and strong efforts have to be made to change the way the state mandates the county to pay for medicaid, welfare, jails, mental health etc. etc. and in turn does not give us any money for this.
County Manager David Fanslau made it very clear that just to cover state mandated program increases next year's county budget will go up $1.4 million.
The size of government has risen tremendously and in many cases government is bloated and there is the need to get it down to an appropriate size.....a prime example of this is when Sullivan County changed from the Board of Supervisors to a Legislative form of government ...just another layer of government for county taxpayers to fund.
No, there is no simple and easy solution to Sullivan County's looming financial crisis. It's going to take dedicated work, working together and probably concessions on everyone's part to keep any proposed tax increase within the state mandated 2 percent cap on tax levy increases.