LETTER: Why I’m against the sales tax increase

Published 10:54 pm Friday, October 12, 2018

Too often we hear the slogan “For the Children” combined with a request to add more monies to the county’s coffers through a tax increase.

It is sad that our elected officials and those pushing the tax increases use this as a tactic to plead to emotions trying to make one believe that if the increase does not pass then we are not “For the Children,” which will make us look like the boogeyman for voting against it.

In my experience — both as an elected official and a resident — this tactic is used because the truth behind the increase is always hidden.

In the case of the one-fourth cent sales tax increase, this is definitely the case. I moved from Union County to Stanly County last year.

While we did have our problems in Union County, high tax rates were definitely not one of them. Union County has a property tax rate of 27.8 percent per $100 and a sales tax rate of 2 percent.

Compare this to Stanly County, which has a 67.8 percent property tax rate per $100 and a 2 percent sales tax rate.

Yet, with a nearly one-third of the tax rate, Union County is able to provide all of the necessary safety and other needs to the school system.

Why is this?

Well, this is simple — because Union County elected officials take their jobs seriously when representing the citizenry by making sure fiscal stewardship is of the utmost priority.

This translates into the Union County elected officials making the right and necessary decision to truly put children first as they are truly “For the Children” by making sure the needs are being met with the tax dollars they have.

By doing this, the Union County elected officials keep more money in the wallets of the parents and promote economic development by keeping taxes low.

Now, compare this to Stanly County. Nearly three times the tax rate of Union County, an additional $500,000 added to the Stanly County school budget this year, and the only answer Stanly County elected officials to have are to ask for a tax increase because the Stanly County elected officials claim there aren’t enough monies to make the children safe.

The citizenry should be up in arms and outraged over this response with one simple question: What have you been doing with the monies all of these years?

This shows a serious lack of fiscal stewardship and responsibility on the part of the Stanly County elected officials and a real need for a fiscal operational review instead of a sales tax increase.

The Stanly County elected officials have already proven their inability to properly manage finances so why should we, the taxpayers, give more monies to Stanly County to misappropriate and manage?

We should all send a resounding no to the sales tax increase which will send a message that Stanly County elected officials must put “For the Children” as the basis and reason to do their duties of fiscal stewards and learn to manage and appropriate the taxpayer monies they receive today.

And the Stanly County elected officials should start by looking to their neighbors in Union County to learn how fiscal stewardship is properly managed before coming to the citizenry for yet more money to mismanage.

Mark Wireman