2013-06-13 / Letters

Fulton County Can’t Afford To “Keep Up With The Joneses”

To The Editor:

I have bit my tongue for a great while, but I am finally going to air out and release some concerns.

The 2013 county budget millage adjustment is 1.20 mills, which would change the millage rate on real estate from 10.95 to 12.15 (taken directly from the proposed 2013 budget as proposed by the commissioners that is found on the Fulton County local government Web site).

Central Fulton School District proposed a .328 mill tax increase (taken from May 16, 2013, front page, Fulton County News). And, where do you think all these increases will hit? The homeowner, of course. Fulton County unemployment rate is at 9.4 percent, which ranks 56th out of a possible 67 counties. Franklin County in comparison is ranked fifth with 6.3 percent unemployed (and is vastly larger!) (Fulton County News June 6 edition).

Note: These figures do not take into account the vast number of people who have given up the search for jobs, or have the misfortune to be working at minimum wage or below. I pity the poor waitresses who struggle to make ends meet with $2 and $3 an hour wage, plus tips ... plus tips? And most of these employers estimate tips and fudge pay slips to make up the “supposed” minimum wage that they are supposed to be paying their employees ... how sad!

Keep in mind the astonishing number of assistance and welfare cases. If you don’t want to work and support yourself, just apply for welfare, pop out more kids (that should work). Also do not forget that a lot of the population consists of senior citizens who struggle on retirement. Given those facts, I resent the fact that all the necessities that the county and school board “want and not necessarily need” are dependent upon tax increases to those who are lucky enough to own a home “well the bank owns.” I am a single income individual, and, yes, I happen to own a cuddly, little, humble home.

Now as far as where all our taxpayers’ money is going? Well, you have seen the courthouse lawn torn up to renovate and install geothermal heating and cooling. Gee, I wonder how that system is working at present ... along with vast renovations to the courthouse inside and out, the restoration, not devastation of the old jail ... how much are we eating on that? Not to mention new buildings for county offices, and the new facade and renovation to the old probation and child support office.

Supposedly, the Fulton County school district can’t pay for retirement pensions, salaries and health insurance without tax money increases. What about “my” rising costs in healthcare and insurances, not to mention utilities and all-around cost-ofliving. Who’s going to pay for that? And I have to contribute my own money to my own 401k retirement fund (if I want to retire some day).

So come on, Fulton County, we are a very small county, can’t afford much, but do we have to “keep up with the Joneses?”

One disgruntled Fulton

County taxpayer,

Dave Johnston

McConnellsburg

P.S. If taxes need increased, what about a per-capita tax in lieu of property tax increases?

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