Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Road levy would be unfair to many taxpayers

    On May 20, Blaine County taxpayers will be voting on a proposal by county commissioners to increase their taxes by nearly $10.5 million dollars over the next two years for road and bridge repairs.
    While properly maintained safe roads are necessary, the citizens of Ketchum and Sun Valley will be disproportionally paying for over 54 percent of the cost of Blaine County roads to the tune of a $5.8 million increase in our taxes. This is despite the fact that Ketchum and Sun Valley represent barely 20 percent of Blaine County’s population as reported in the 2010 U.S. Census. Higher property values in the northern part of Blaine County will significantly impact both Ketchum and Sun Valley homeowners, some who will see their property taxes increase by thousands of dollars over the next two years.
    Rather than having planned for this expense in the past, our current and former county commissioners chose not to recognize that eventually roads need to be repaired. Now they want to get taxpayer approval for their failure to adopt a long-range prudent fiscal plan.  It is time that Blaine County taxpayers send a message to our commissioners that they have a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers to plan for the inevitable, rather than just requesting money when they need it. And, in case anyone does not remember, this is the same group of commissioners who, as part of their so called strategic planning, had the arrogance to propose a raise in their own salary to $81,900 in last year’s budget at a time when they knew the road issue was looming. Please vote no on the Blaine County Road Levy.
Jim Bronson
Sun Valley

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