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Reality dictates more Hall budget cuts, not tax hikes

POSTED: June 9, 2011 1:05 a.m.

Hall County officials are correct to propose deep cuts to fiscal year 2012 budgets and no tax increase should be considered. Hall County is no longer a boom town and the local government and its employees need to recognize this. The days of elite public sector employees riding piggyback on the peon taxpayers and insulated from the contractions in the economy are over.

All departments should be reviewed for budget cuts using a scalpel, ax and chain saw. The Great Recession has decimated wealth, income and spending habits, but to face reality is the first step required. Any good business cuts expenses when faced with a long-term decline in revenues, and we expect Hall County government to do the same. If this means slower and less services, that is to be expected.

The factors that determined the boom years leading to the Great Recession will not return and we are left with a stagnant economy for years to come. People are forced to get by with less and we expect the same from our local government. Average home prices have declined about 40 percent since 2007.

Rip Van Winkle would propose a tax increase in this situation but I trust our elected officials will not sleep through reality.

Michael Anthony Coley
Gainesville



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