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County should hold down taxes, not at expense of public safety

POSTED: June 1, 2011 11:43 p.m.

I read with great interest the letter posted by Frank Norton Jr. regarding the proposed tax increase. Since I am retired now, I, too, am dismayed at the prospect of higher taxes. I'm sure that county departments can find additional savings.

But unlike Norton, I will not ask the people who keep me safe, who put their lives on the line, who work untold hours and in very difficult circumstances to make even more sacrifices than they have already been called on to make, so that I might avoid $8 a month more in taxes.

I find it curious that the most vocal opponents to such increases are often the most prosperous and wealthy among us. Our very representatives in Congress are gleeful at the idea of trashing Medicare and even Social Security knowing all the while they will not suffer the consequences. They have guaranteed health care and retirement. They make their plans on the backs of the middle- and lower-income citizens.

I hope the folks who oppose this small increase will never need to call 911 only to find it busy, need an ambulance only to be told that there aren't enough, need a law enforcement officer to save them from the bad guy or a firefighter to save their home or family from perish. These fine folks have already been on furloughs for a couple of years and their medical benefits decreased and their retirement eliminated or reduced.

Let's find ways to reduce the need for additional tax, but let's not do it by hurting our neighbors and friends who work so hard to make our lives safe and peaceful.

Terri Strayhorn
Gainesville



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