County needs to think long term

Published 2:20 am Thursday, September 1, 2011

Adams County Supervisors need to go no further than the nearest mirror if they’re hunting for a scapegoat for the county’s financial situation.

On Tuesday, supervisors agreed to push through a preliminary budget that would not contain a tax increase for county residents — which is a good thing.

But they didn’t do it before they griped a bit about the school district’s budget.

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The school district, in effect, sought exactly the same amount of tax dollars they received last year, but because the county’s property value assessment went down last year, that required a tiny bit more millage than was required last year.

Supervisors agreed to simply absorb the extra money for the schools into the county budget rather than increasing taxes. Had they opted for a tax increase, the amount needed would have been $1 per month for a house with an assessed value of $100,000.

The lowered property value assessment isn’t the school district’s fault.

It is, in a way, all of our faults. If our area was booming and people were clamoring to get to Adams County, values would likely be going up.

Instead, rather than realizing the blame is, at least in part, on them, supervisors would rather bellyache and blame the school district. Ironically, supervisors appoint two school board members.

A bigger concern for taxpayers should be the worry over the county’s lowered bond rating and whether or not supervisors can refinance a bond they took out to pave county roads, just before election season.

The plan centers on stretching the payments out until greener days arrive, or retirement from their public perches, whichever comes first, unless the public holds up that mirror soon.