Letterwerks Sign City
"Where Fillmore County News Comes First"
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Guest Commentary: Keeping Houston County citizens informed and involved

Fri, Aug 1st, 2014
Posted in All Commentary

Justin Zmyewski

By Justin Zmyewski

Houston Commissioner District #2

“The Big Picture in the Short Term” when looking at the construction of a new Houston County Highway Shop should have the following facts considered:

FACT: Houston County had a 3.52 percent ($385,000) tax increase in 2014. More than double the State average.

FACT: If the county board follows its past 10-year history and grants employee salary increases coupled with the increase in health insurance benefits this would mean a projected 3.11 percent ($328,000) tax increase in 2015 to balance the budget. In 2016 it would mean a projected tax increase of 3.73 percent ($417,000) to make the budget balance.

FACT: The above mentioned “FACTS” equate to a projected $1.13 million tax increase for Houston County tax payers over the three year period from 2014 – 2016 and that’s if the county doesn’t spend a penny over budget.

FACT: If the county board were to go to the tax payers to fund a new county highway shop taxes would rise 1 percent over the next 10 years for every 1 million dollars spent, this would be in addition to the above mentioned projected tax increases.

FACT: A county highway shop can be built without using new tax dollars. Keep in mind that the Highway Department takes in about $196,000 a year from the Wheelage Tax that was implemented in 2013 and has over $600,000 that has been in reserve for this project.

FACT: An adequate and efficient county highway shop of quality can be built without new tax dollars it just can’t be built at the grand scale in which it is being proposed.

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