Keep calm in tax increase discussion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Talk about raising taxes, and people’s ears perk up pretty quickly. Just as quickly, though, they begin to voice opposition.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors has proposed a 2.36-mill tax increase for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1. The board will hold a public hearing on the issue at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and we envision a packed house for the discussion.

But here’s what we would urge: We need citizens to discuss this calmly with supervisors.

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Talk about taxes has a tendency to get out of hand quickly, and that doesn’t solve anything.

We’re experiencing tough times &045; individually and as a community.

But county residents expect their supervisors to continue to provide the services they want &045; witness the opposition to changing the garbage collection schedule. If you want such services to continue, there’s got to be a give and take.

With changes in the economy, the county has to make decisions about cutting spending or raising revenue.

Are we convinced the county needs to raise taxes? We won’t know until we hear more about the supervisors’ reasons at Tuesday’s hearing. We do see the need to meet the challenges of growing expenses, but we wonder how much effort was made to cut spending &045; especially since, when supervisors first sat down to budget, department heads brought them wish lists that were out of the realm of possibility.

But we’re more than willing to listen to what supervisors have to say &045; and we think everyone else should, too.