As a Hall County resident and employee, I have tried to educate myself on the pending budget crisis as best as possible, but I can only speak from personal experience. I have to wonder how much longer residents and county officials can expect the budget to be balanced solely off the backs of the employees.
We are losing money in each paycheck we receive, either via the mandatory furlough days, tripling insurance deductions or loss of employer contributions to retirement. This has hit all employees hard, as these cuts are unbiased and go from the judges to the cleaning staff. It is especially difficult for single-income families who are trying to raise children, or for families who have two county incomes and get hit doubly hard.
Think of the county in terms of a manufacturer which, say, produces televisions. The components of these televisions continue to increase. The manufacturer, to preserve costs, looks within the company first to see where it can cut money to stay competitive with low prices.
But once it has cut the employees and operating costs as much as possible, don't you think it's reasonable and inevitable that that cost increase is going to have to be passed down to the consumer?
No one wants higher taxes; everyone is suffering economically. But please, try to keep in mind that Hall County employees have taken all of the cuts they can take. When you have an employee with six years of service who is making below federal poverty level (due to cuts) and has to visit food banks to feed their families, something has got to give. Please vote for the tax increase!