Thursday, October 21, 2010

Building Debt

The Jefferson County Commission needs to take a long, hard look at the proposed school building plan and try to come up with a less debt-ridden solution:

The truth of the matter is that Mayor Palmieri's concerns about the fiscal viability of the current building plan are spot on. Yes, much of what is contained in the plan really is needed and no matter how we get what our schools need, the money will have to be raised to pay for it. The county can only raise taxes so high before the high taxes have a diminishing impact on jobs (12% unemployment rate in Jefferson County) and infrastructure because people and businesses will either move where the taxes are lower or-just as likely in this day and age-they'll move to where they might get more bang for their tax buck. When families need something and don't have the money for all of it, generally they get what they need one or two pieces at a time. That would be the right way to proceed with the school building project. The school board, parents, and most importantly, kids, wouldn't get everything that is needed at once, and would again have to play the waiting game in many cases, but if a building proposal were authorized and bonded one project at a time on a pay-as-you-go basis, the county would be in a better financial position to fund much-needed school improvements without dramatic increases in property, wheel, or sales taxes on a seemingly continuous stream.

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