By Tandy Dunn
As I have moved across our great county one of the things I hear is our county taxes need to be reduced. Many of our older citizens just don’t have the money to pay for their annual property tax bill and it would be a great benefit if something could be done to lower it.
So just how should we go about dropping the tax rate? First and foremost, stop spending our tax dollars on things we just do not need. Fuzzy math and sleight of hand with the budget is being used to justify expenses. A $4.7 million dollar "smart" water meter system was not needed. The 13,000 water customers in the county have already seen their water bill increase and will see it increase even more to pay for these meters. And in 10 years they might have to do it all over again because the "smart" meters will need to be replaced. Just because some other county has it doesn't mean it is the best for Beaufort County. This decision was made without any public discussion of security issues generated by placing a network node on each of our private properties.
A new jail is another thing that keeps being brought up. The current jail passes State inspection every year. There is part of the basement in the courthouse that is being used for storage. Plans originally called for this to be renovated to provide more space for such things as a nurse’s office and medical segregation. That was an acceptable project that cost less than two million and could have been funded out of COVID money. Now they want to build a fifteen MILLION dollar expansion behind the court house with new elevators and a sally-port to use while dropping off prisoners. Is this really necessary?
Mega trash sites are another thing we can waste our hard earned dollars on. If built they would close down most of the current roll off sites. It is bad enough that the roll off sites now close one day a week (DID WE REDUCE PAYMENTS TO REPUBLIC FOR THAT?), but with fewer places to drop off your trash this is NOT a benefit to our citizens. And since we are talking about trash, in order to dispose of a two by four you have to take it to a place on Flanders Filters Road that is not open past 4:00 PM on weekdays and is not open at all on Saturdays. The only other option is to take it to a site in Pitt County that currently has the same hours. So if I do a little repair job at home I have to take off work to get rid of my construction debris. That is not very convenient.
The County has to keep a certain amount of money in a reserve fund to pay for any emergencies or to ensure it has money to pay bills. It is projected that there will be almost SEVEN MILLION dollars in EXCESS this year. But if we allow this money to be wasted on unnecessary projects it will be gone. Which would you rather have, a nice new un-needed jail expansion, or a tax break?
The ”Tax and Spend Twins” are still out there. They continue to spend money like there is no tomorrow. They have taken out loans and spent down the fund balance. They have raised your taxes and promise to continue to do so.
I vote for a tax break, even if for only one year. But with careful spending it can be much longer.
We need to get back to the basics, stop wasteful spending and conduct the business of the county in public. If elected I will do that. Remember, you can only vote for one person in the commissioner race. Please Vote for Tandy Dunn.
Tandy Dunn is a conservative Republican running for County Commissioner. He can be contacted at email@example.com
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