Another tax? Not so fast

  • Follow Editorials

Augusta commissioners will have a Herculean task getting another penny added to the area's 7 cents of sales tax next year.

Their first task will be to move the needle off of "H--- No!" toward just "No!"

Good luck with that.

City officials will no doubt claim it's for essential services such as law enforcement. And, indeed, we've sold Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength short.

But few of us believe for a moment that the rest of the city's budget has been combed for savings. Until that happens, keep the tax increase proposals to yourself, city.

Reductions in force, employee furloughs and other painful but necessary steps have been taken in every other area of American life -- except in many governments. It's time that changed.

Commissioner Joe Bowles and others have also suggested privatizing the under-performing municipal golf course. That's just one example of creative cost controls that the city has yet to exhibit any taste for.

Again, until every other stone has been turned, any notion of a tax increase will be a nonstarter.

Now is precisely the absolute worst time in most of our lifetimes to be raising taxes. Every dollar that is sucked out of the private economy by government is a dollar that isn't used to get the economy growing again. History and economists have proven that the best way to assure a return to a recent recession, or to deepen an existing one, is to raise taxes.

The current proposal for a 1-cent "MOST" -- a Municipal Option Sales Tax -- is galaxies away from the special purpose local option sales tax voters overwhelmingly approved June 16. That proposal was for an extension of an existing tax -- and was targeted to complete a finite list of projects that passed muster with voters.

Now, however, the city is proposing a general-use tax to pad a budget that commissioners can't seem to cut sufficiently. Light-years different.

This time the answer is likely to be no.

Unless it's a stronger "no" than that.

Comments (13) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 11/25/09 - 03:03 am
0
0
STOP wasting our money.

STOP wasting our money. Provide for Public Safety, Education, and Infrastructure and leave the rest to private enterprise. This city wastes way too much money on stupid law suits, conventions, studies, and unnecessary travel and enough is enough. Law Enforcement, Fire Fighting, EMS, 911, Schools, and infrascructure should be your primary focus if not your only focus and yet you give these areas low priority while wasting money for political gain.

Riverman1
93605
Points
Riverman1 11/25/09 - 03:49 am
0
0
Two different issues here.

Two different issues here. One is cutting waste and I totally agree with that. The other issue is how to tax. The 1 cent increase in the sales tax at least gets everyone paying something. Many pay no property taxes now or taxes of any kind except buying lottery tickets and that goes to the state government. At least with any kind of sales tax, everyone pays SOMETHING.

overburdened_taxpayer
117
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 11/25/09 - 06:04 am
0
0
Thanks Richmond County. An

Thanks Richmond County. An added 1 cent will convince some more RC shoppers to shop in Columbia County. So long as you keep shopping here we don't need to raise our taxes like that. I really think it will cause you to produce less revenue in sales tax instead of more.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11036
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 11/25/09 - 06:25 am
0
0
My money won't be spent in RC

My money won't be spent in RC if the tax is raised. I'll go to Burke County or Columbia County!

jb5365
0
Points
jb5365 11/25/09 - 06:57 am
0
0
There are a lot of overpaid

There are a lot of overpaid "officials" in this gov`t. How much does it cost to have city/county joined? What would the differences be if the county ran itself and those power and money hungry town officials just worry about that. I liked having a private company do trash pick-up and 2 times a week 20 miles from town seems a little over-reaching. All they want is the tax money to play their pet projects where we can`t even see them. Property values out here are a lot different than in "town", we don`t get a lot of the same services (or trouble) that seems to happen daily in town. Cut pay from the top and you`ll see projects change very quickly...

avidreader
3558
Points
avidreader 11/25/09 - 08:25 am
0
0
Dana Bedden made many tough

Dana Bedden made many tough decisions and it cost me and my wife a chunk of our salary (as well as every other Board employee). However, the decisions had to be made and I respect the superintendent for his management of our school system. In this economy, everybody has to share in the misery. Why not our county government?

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 11/25/09 - 09:59 am
0
0
dear overburdened, this is

dear overburdened, this is one of the issues i tried to raise with the "esteemed" commissioner bowles....he didn't even try to justify the tax increase, only attempted to divert the issue...hey joe, if it is a sales tax then everytime i purchase anything I AM CONTRIBUTING TO THE TAX BASE. he failed to answer one important point and tht is the effect the 14% sales tax increase will have on those who are on fixed incomes, those who have to pay for medicine or are living paycheck to paycheck with children to feed and clothe...you know those who don't live on milledge road..or how about the effect on small businesses??? and yes the effect the TAX INCREASE will have on those not willing to pay it and will take their money across the river or to the surrounding counties...i guess joe forgot that this tax is a regressive tax...oh well those most adversly effected probably don't live in his district anyway..if anyone want to read a very insightful post, go to yesterday's article regarding the sales tax and read what KNAVE wrote...he drove the point home very well..i guess "ole" tax'em joe wont read and comment on that one or any other post that doesn't agree with the 14% sales tax increase

lifelongresidient
0
Points
lifelongresidient 11/25/09 - 11:21 am
0
0
hey cbbp, try conveying your

hey cbbp, try conveying your opinion to commissioner bowles, but watch out he like venus cain will not try to explain or justify their actions but will try to attack and impune you or your character...if you don't live on or near milledge road he will claim you suffer from wealth envy....

sojakpelfree
0
Points
sojakpelfree 11/25/09 - 11:48 am
0
0
What don't we start with,

What don't we start with, say, govn't issued cell phones to city officials, govn't issued gas cards to city officials, a bloated travel budget for the commissioners, city administrator and others. privitaze the transit system and start taxding many of the "front" organizations which are currently tax exempt!

Riverman1
93605
Points
Riverman1 11/25/09 - 12:36 pm
0
0
Columbia County Commissioners

Columbia County Commissioners are not given free gas.

grinder48
2054
Points
grinder48 11/25/09 - 02:29 pm
0
0
I'm going to be taxed more so
Unpublished

I'm going to be taxed more so these theves and idiots can continue with their inept ways??? There's entirely to much waste, fraud, and abuse. With the exception of Joe Bowles, all the bums need to be voted out!

chel
0
Points
chel 11/25/09 - 04:26 pm
0
0
I would have to agree with

I would have to agree with Riverman1 in the fact that the penny sales tax increase means everyone pays in and not just select property owners. No one wants to see an increase but it seems we have to look at the lesser of two evils here. Besides I am having a hard time justifying having to pay increased property taxes when my neighbor is not being forced to clean up his shacks!

corgimom
38381
Points
corgimom 11/25/09 - 05:09 pm
0
0
This is the same AC that

This is the same AC that wants taxpayers to pay for the TEE center. Ok.

jack
10
Points
jack 11/25/09 - 05:43 pm
0
0
RM1, for once, I totally

RM1, for once, I totally agree. EVERYONE pays sales tax.

Back to Top

Top headlines

Kettle donations rise in 2014

After a disappointing showing last year, donations to the Salvation Army's local Red Kettle Campaign have risen nearly 20 percent in 2014.
Search Augusta jobs