Friday, June 16, 2006
25% increase in property taxes coming
Selma Budget Calls For 25 Percent Property Tax Increase - Under Town Manager Stan Farmer’s proposed budget, Selma residents will see a 25 percent increase in their property taxes starting next month. The $14.2 million budget calls for an 11 cents tax increase, up to 55 cents, to balance the budget. Farmer said the increase is necessary because revenue had been overstated in recent years. Overall the new fiscal year budget is down 6 percent. To avoid cutting any additional positions, town employees have agreed to waive cost of living and merit increases, over the next 12 months, plus do away with a five percent match on their 401k plan. A public hearing on the budget takes place next Monday.
One thought that occurs to me is something that came up in Tuesday night's town council meeting. The town is transferring a piece of property to Habitat for Humanity. Did Habitat pay for that property or is it being donated to the charity? If we are in a budget crunch, I take issue with donation of land that could be sold by the town and the proceeds go to alleviate the budget shortfall and property tax burden. Then again, I personally don't much care for the premise of that charity to begin with.
I agree with Christian giving and practice it regularly. I agree that people in need should be helped. I do not believe that just because someone is relatively poor that they should be given preferrential treatment in obtaining a house. If they have shelter, food on the table, and clothes on their back, they are better off than most of the planet's population.
I don't mean to seem hard hearted, but I was poor. Dirt poor. Rolling pennies for gas to get to work poor. Not knowing where the next meal was coming from poor. Not knowing how I would pay my rent poor. Every bill was behind and my electricity was being cut off poor. Been there, lived that. I also busted my tail to get out of that situation and am grateful for the blessings that God was graceful in bestowing upon me (or even because of my diligence) in addition to that. Now I own a decent home, have a wife, and am working on paying off the rest of our bills. I have worked hard at all of this.
There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. Some people may not be able to help themselves. I realize this, so don't send me hate mail because I believe that people should work hard for their living. That is simple Christian doctrine, which is what Habitat for Humanity supposedly pontificates.
My point is simply that if the town donated that land to help some poor family get a house, don't do it at my and the other taxpayers' expense. And don't tax us for the $20,000 or so we could have gotten for that tract of land had the land been sold instead of donated. I don't know that this is the actual case in this instance, but I strongly suspect it is.