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Letter to the Editor

Writer Opposes Proposed 1% Sales Tax

web posted September 20, 2013

Dear Editor,
I see Edgefield got it right and withdrew the TIF, for now. However, the county council seems dead set on increasing taxes that the Edgefield Daily poll shows 71% of readers oppose. The county has a $9 million annual budget and the proposed sales tax increase will increase that by 10%.

Dean Campbell has indicated the county does not know what they will spend the windfall on, but says the projects will increase property values and improve our quality of life. How long did it take you to dream up this scheme? Increase a tax to create a slush fund. Use the money on projects to increase property values. The sales tax increase goes away and the increased county assessed property values bring in more taxes. The county will be the arbitor of how much properties are valued. What a scam.

It gets better. The council will appear to be hands off while cherry picked appointees come up with ways to spend the money. Were these positions open to all residents to apply for? If so, I sure as hell missed the how, when and where. Who has vetted these people? Nothing like a rubber stamp committee to do your bidding.

Politicians are good at minimizing the impact of 1%. Folks, lets look at what we're already paying above and beyond property taxes. SCE&G pays $1.1 million in county property taxes. You think they pay it from profits? No, we pay. It's built into our energy bills. There's no better example than to look at your monthly SCE&G statement. There is a 5% franchise fee to the city of Edgefield. You pay that each month, not SCE&G. Local businesses pass along those costs in the price of their goods. Your cable, internet and phone bills have similar fees and taxes.

Water and sewer rates increased. Schools are charging registration fees. I have a clunker for a 2d car. In 5 years, I've paid more in annual registration fees than I paid for the car. We paid sales tax when we purchased it. What piece of private property is next in line to be taxed annually? Computers? Furniture? Garden vegetables since you don't buy in a store? Livestock?

Gas has nearly doubled since Obama. The economy is stagnant, wages have decreased, consumer prices and taxes have risen. This county government wants to take nearly $1 million more dollars out of us to spend on "yet to be determined" projects that will result in increased taxes later.  Yes, take money from us now so that later you can take even more.   Do we get a "Kick Me" sign with that?

Who can spend your money better, you or a government?

Here's an idea. Form a citizens group to find ways to cut from the county budget. It should be comprised of residents who are creative in maintaining their household on limited resources, folks who have managed to get by on less, who know thrift. A few should be unemployed yet have been able to support their family through hard work and determination. Let them apply through The Edgefield Daily and readers vote. As a kicker, let them split 10% of what is saved.

Bill Weger

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