Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I was doing a little more comparison between the Town of Selma and my previous hometown, Franklin, New Hampshire. I was looking at the town budgets. Selma's budget ordinance provides for roughly $15.5 million in operational expenses, including payroll, water, sewer, and electrical. Franklin's budget includes a full time fire department, water, sewer, less payroll, and 7.9 times the square mileage, and one third more population has a budget (excluding the school system) of less than $9.1 million. If you add the entire school system into the budget, it grows to almost $22.3 million. Can you see why I am a bit puzzled by the budget proportions?
There is no state income tax in New Hampshire and no sales tax (except rooms and meals), but there is a fairly high property tax. Here in NC, we have a state income tax, state sales tax, AND property tax. The schools here are handled at the county and state level. The schools in New Hampshire are primarily handled at the town level with some state funding. There is a lottery in NH (first in the nation to have one...as if that is a big deal), and NC just got one. I am not even going to get into the lottery lies here in North Carolina.
I am by no means touting how great things were "up north". I am simply comparing what is familiar to me. I had no idea what Franklin's budget was, what the total square mileage was, the personnel numbers were, etc. until I was curious about how they compared to Selma. I started digging for information and started making comparisons. When I started hearing numbers about Selma, I was a bit curious as to why things are the way they are.