|Kevin Gordon. Facebook.|
Property tax rates in Campbell County have increased 45% since 2007.
The measure passed 2-1, with Commissioners Brian Painter and Tom Lampe voting for the increase and Charlie Coleman voting against.
This op-ed is an answer to Commissioner Painter's previous article on FTM, that discussed his reasoning for the property tax increase.
By Kevin Gordon
In 2010 "candidate" Painter wrote an editorial for the Community Press titled "A time to spend: A time to stop".
In that Op-Ed he mentioned Campbell County (CC) spending vs Campbell County population growth. "...the burden on each taxpayer increases as the county's spending increases. I call this the 'misery index.'"
It's fair to ask, now that Commissioner Painter has been in office since January 2011, has the "misery index" improved?
From 2004 - 2010 spending per CC citizen grew from $275/person to $402/person or 46% nearly 3x's the rate of inflation (15.4%).
Since Commissioner Painter has been in office, spending has INCREASED to $480/person or 19% nearly 2x's the rate of inflation (9.4%).
Our "misery" has increased just not as fast as before.
Commissioner Painter and the Fiscal Court (Commissioner Coleman was the lone dissenting vote) has raised their tax rate 5.2% despite the fact that as of June 30, 2015, Campbell County had a CASH RESERVE of $10,555,777.84!
AND according to their Financial Advisor, from their Public Finance firm, they should have Cash Reserves of between 20 - 25% of their 2016 Operating Budget or $8,749,296.25 (on the high side at 25%)!
That's $1,806,481.59 above what they SHOULD have!
It might "only" mean an increase of $10 on a $129,000 house, but that is in addition to the $25 increase from the School Tax and the yet to be determined increase in the Fire District Tax, City Tax, etc. We all see the increases in groceries, cable, phone, internet, health insurance, insurance deductibles, etc.
When does the taxpayer get a chance to build up their cash reserves?
"A time to spend: A time to stop" What part of STOP does Commissioner Painter not understand?