The Saturday papers are getting to be as much fun for me as the Sunday funnies!
Okay. Election season is upon us once again and the action is finally coming to my turf. The County. Two, including the chairman, of our commissioners are running for re-election. What does any politician worth his salt do? Loosen the purse strings.
The jail is cramped, the Sheriff's Department understaffed and underpaid, Senior Centers are crying for help while programs are being forced to shut down, and our commissioners are doing right well with the handsome pay raise they voted for themselves.
What really irks me, however, is the budgeting process. The head commish is proud that he has overseen the increase in the foregone tax balance from $700,000 to over $2 million. Let me see if I can explain foregone taxes. If property taxes can be raised a maximum of, say 3% and are raised only 2%, the difference is the foregone tax that can still be collected.
When a commissioner is quoted in the Coeur d'Alene Press as saying, "I am going to keep protecting that balance," I am going to look closely at every potential opponent that comes forward. Taxes are a given. The County has an obligation to serve and protect its citizens. Help the Senior Centers provide services to those who need them and for heaven's sake, pay the deputies who are here to protect us a living wage so they stick around!
If to do so you have to collect some of the foregone taxes then do it. You could even consider cutting your salaries and hire a professional administrator!