To the editor:
There’s a saying I’m sure all have heard many times: two things that are sure in life are death and taxes.
Taxes have been the topic of conversations as long as I can remember in Scotland County. I never thought too much on this subject until I found I was paying them.
Taxes are necessary in building and maintaining a quality of life that is conducive to harmony and growth. With businesses, manufacturing plants, etc. closed and many relocating elsewhere, much pressure has been placed on this county to maintain its infrastructure and services that are required to be a progressive county.
Scotland County commissioners are between a rock and a hard place to raise the revenue in order to meet these needs. This revenue is what we refer to as taxes. Many feel these taxes are excessive for what we receive.
Currently, plans are to place another one quarter of one percent to our present sales tax to soften the burden of meeting the county’s needs. No doubt this isn’t much in the overall tax picture and yes, it seems to fit a tax that all would share in and this seems to be a fair tax.
But after much thought, I’ve decided not to be in favor of it for several reasons. I don’t care to share all of these, but here are a couple:
It seems when additional taxes are put in place, they remain there forever. It seems no expiration is placed on them. One of these taxes that comes to mind is one put in place in 1963 and referred to as the “school floor.” This tax has been a compulsory part of the Scotland County structure for 50 years with no end in sight.
In 50 years, with this additional quarter of a cent be part of our tax structure? Could this additional tax become a burden to businesses that might find customers shopping elsewhere? When travelers stop for a sandwich, could this additional tax cause them to pass by and go elsewhere?
Has our county property tax rate caused businesses and manufacturing plants to go elsewhere or never to consider Scotland County? In a recent conversation with one of our county commissioners, it seemed that this is the case. In this conversation he stated that after finishing school here, his children and grandchildren had to leave Scotland County to find jobs.
Is this additional tax needed? I don’t think so. As another county commissioner recently said while talking with me, we need all those that receive county tax dollars to help row the boat instead of riding in it.