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Edgefield County, South Carolina

June 4, 2005

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EDITORIAL

Who is out of touch? Not Norman Dorn

Editorial
web posted June 4, 2005

In the rush to finalize the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, the county council, under the guidance of Administrator Wayne Adams, has elected to insert a “tax savings” whereby they agreed not to raise the county operations rate but instead institute a tax on each registered vehicle in the county. “It makes everyone pay their fare share,” Councilman Joel Hudson is quoted as saying.

Council, Adams, and even county auditor Bill Gilcrest agree that it spreads the tax to everyone not just homeowners. In concept that much is true. But who are these “taxpayers” who council is directing their latest increase on, and mind you, a new tax is an increase. Do not be fooled by the false claim of, “not raising taxes” when they raise taxes. Pure and simple that is a lie, a rise in taxes is a rise in taxes no matter what form it takes form. Moreover, it is not the resident homeowner for the most part that will be hit so hard but the working poor and the very poor that pay an inordinate amount of the taxes in relation to income.

Councilman Norman Dorn understands this, his district is one of the poorest in the county (and out county is one of the poorest in the state) and his constituents are speaking loudly as is Councilman Dorn. At least Dorn listens to his constituents, a lot more than can be said for the rest of council.

Edgefield Daily.com has spoken with Councilman Joel Hudson of Merriwether and he states he owns four or five cars and the taxes apply to him too. That may be well and good for someone who is able to own more cars than there are people in the home, but most will see the increase as it should be seen, as a percentage. That percentage increase can be as much as 40% over the previous year’s taxes.

That is a lot for the poorest in our county.

Councilman Norman Dorn seems to be the lone voice of reason on the council and Edgefield Daily.com applauds his futile effort to make this tax an issue. If the county cannot balance the budget on stipulated taxes, creating new taxes is just the beginning. What is next, a tax on rainwater like in Edgefield County’s favorite example Columbia County?

You give the government an inch and they will take the farm. At least Councilman Dorn is wise enough to see that simple fact. It’s one thing to balance the budget; it is another to balance it on the backs of the poor. Somehow this seems to be a good idea to some like Monroe Kneece, Willie Bright, Everett Kitchens, and Joel Hudson.

They will have to answer for that next year, another thing Councilman Dorn is well aware of that escapes the rest.



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