High taxes will deter economic growth in county

Published 10:56 am Saturday, June 16, 2012

To the Editor:

Well the Grinch is at it again.

This year he has elves working for him so he can even up the score with Santa.

He and his new crew, who we know as the Southampton County Board of Supervisors, are planning to steal Christmas with a double whammy.

Their first plan was the reassessment of our property values. For this appraisal, a firm was hired from out of town for $350,000. Not knowing the lay of the land, there seemed to be a lot of guesswork involved.

Why should property assessments keep going up when the surrounding areas are going down along with a real estate market that is at an all-time low? How is this appraisal justified?

Southampton County has one of the highest tax rates of all the surrounding areas. Also when our appraisals go up, our homeowners’ insurance increases.

The second plan is a new tipping tax or fee of $200 for the use of the dump, which will be included in our personal property tax bills that are paid just before Christmas.

Now the Grinch’s helpers know Christmas should be a time with family and good cheer so they do their best to make it as miserable as they can. They know that some families will have to choose between a merry Christmas or paying taxes.

They also know if a resident is late paying taxes, there will be additional interest and penalties.

If these taxes aren’t paid by deadline, their vehicles will be booted.

I understand the county has acquired quite a debt and is calling on taxpayers to bail them out.

I ask how can a one-stoplight town where we burn our own gas for a trip to the dump to dispose of our trash be in such debt? Have there been audits? What means have been taken to conserve?

The new board of supervisors promised change. So far it’s the same old story. More taxes and fees. It’s the fastest and easiest way for them to generate revenue.

My former profession was a truck driver, which requires a Commercial Driver’s License. The state holds me responsible for my actions at work and behind the wheel while driving my personal vehicle.

The same should apply to all of county employees. They should be accountable for the debt they acquire.

Someone needs to understand these high taxes detour new businesses and any new growth of real estate. With soaring fuel prices and foreclosures all around, now is not the time for additional fees or taxes.

Michael Beck