Several years ago I listened to a very intellectually honest nephew of mine, who is a high school teacher, talk on the phone with a disgruntled parent who was complaining about property taxes. Further on, in the conversation, the parent started complaining about what he considered to be poor service from the fire department. My nephew’s response: Which way do you want it?

The reality is that we cannot have it both ways.

If the gentleman believes the county is not spending its tax revenue correctly, he needs to get a hold of the county budget and point out to the county where it is not doing its job. There was nothing constructive about the letter; it was a vile, uninformed critique.

One of the reasons why public meetings have to be held is so that the governing entity can explain the reasoning behind a proposed tax rate and not make changes behind the backs of our citizens. One thing that is not taken into consideration is that Cherokee County is a large, sparsely populated county, and that does require that we put more money in, per person, in order to properly fund the work of the county.

Another thing that is not taken into consideration is that Texas does not have an income tax. Consequently more funds have to be obtained via the property and sales taxes. Even though the county and city tax rates are not changing, the taxes that will be collected are going up because of new construction and because property values have gone up. Is that a good thing? I think so.

Also, as our taxes improve the appearance of the cities and the county and also make our school systems more appealing to out-of-towners, we will attract more citizens to the area. Eventually that fact will allow for the tax rates to go down. It has happened in Tyler. For the upcoming tax year, City of Jacksonville tax revenue is going up close to a half million dollars and I am seeing our current city administration accomplishing some great things with that revenue.

Mike McEwen


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