Wednesday, August 3, 2011

No justification for county raises


By the time this letter is published the Blaine County Commissioners will have raised our property taxes and given themselves a raise! Really?

Tom Bowman was quoted as saying not one person came up to him and said, "Don't raise my taxes." Do we really have to say it? Anybody who has any knowledge of the state of the economy in Blaine County should realize you don't have to say it. I will say it now. "Don't raise my taxes!" I can't afford one more new expense.

The commissioners said they can't cut services and have to raise taxes. Services have already been cut. The county offices are only open four days a week. Staying open for 10 hours a day doesn't come close to making up for the inconvenience of being closed on a Friday. Also add in the days when the Department of Motor Vehicles and drivers' license offices are closed because all their employees are in training.

I don't know what world the commissioners are living in. The workforce and property owners are struggling to pay their existing bills. Every little raise in expenses pushes budgets to the brink. Raising property taxes raises the cost of living for taxpayers.

County employees and commissioners need to realize what the state of the economy is. They are lucky to have jobs. They get a raise every day they work because they are working and they are not out of work collecting unemployment until the benefits run out.

There is no justification for raises. The economy is no better than it was in 2008, probably worse in Blaine County. People are losing their homes; look at the trustee sale list in the paper every week. There are plenty of qualified people who would be glad to take the jobs if employees feel they have to leave for better pay elsewhere. Good jobs are at a premium.

So, county commissioners, you need to get used to a shrinking budget. It doesn't appear that the economy is going to get better any time soon. You can raise taxes and give yourself raises, but you will still run out of money when people can no longer afford to pay the taxes.

I will remind everyone when you are up for re-election that you raised taxes and gave yourself a raise. Disgusting! If you are practicing to join the clowns in Washington, D.C., go practice somewhere else.

JERRY HAYWARD

Bellevue




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