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Hall County should fund true essentials ahead of parks

POSTED: June 20, 2011 9:46 a.m.

I am frustrated with talk of people willing to support a tax hike to save parks. In case anyone has missed it, the recession is still in full swing. People are still out of work and homes are still being foreclosed on. To increase property taxes now will only exacerbate the foreclosure problem that has contributed to the loss of more than $20,000 in my home's value the last four years.

Raising taxes is not the solution. Cutting wasteful, overindulgent government spending is.

The commission showed us the proposed budget Thursday night. What wasn't included in that presentation was a detailed accounting of where our tax dollars are being spent. The government's job is to protect our rights and provide our security. So, cutting the EMS and Sheriff's Office budget and jobs should never happen; nonessential items should be cut.

Parks and Recreation is a luxury. Cutting these will not lead to drug use and crime. Absentee parents do that. These are not essential services that should cause an increase in property taxes that will further harm those who are already struggling to pay their bills. This will drive residents out of Hall County. Ask New York and New Jersey where all their people have gone and why.

There is no doubt that a more detailed examination of where our tax dollars are going would generate more areas where nonessential spending is occurring and cuts can be made. It appears that the only people who came out Thursday night were those in support of tax increases. There were few of us who rose up and spoke against them.

I urge those who are not in favor of this to speak up now. If you don't, then we are telling the commissioners that whenever they want to spend money on something, we will pay more taxes for it. Then we will find our county in the same position our country is in: On a downward spiral with a big government that spends money it doesn't have. Cut, don't tax.

Jeremy Griffey
Gainesville



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