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Letter to the Editor: Spending money like a large metro area?

By Dave Scrimger, Charles City

As it was so aptly put in a previous letter to the editor, the “extravagant” spending on the courthouse law center and additions seems to be of great concern as our taxes start increasing.

Allocating money by vote beforehand seems a strange way of doing business without really knowing the true cost of construction.

Should we not remember that Charles City is a town of less than 8,000 and we cannot overtax a few to “keep up with the Joneses.” Wise spending and business practices should be adhered to as if it were the various board members’ own personal money.

Another point is that years ago there was a lot of industrial tax and associated moneys to help our city. Now there are a lot of earnings here that go to other towns as there are a number of people who work here and live elsewhere.

They don’t spend it as close as once was.

Also a number of businesses are owned by absentee investors. Again the earnings leave the community.

I seriously believe that our leaders are being led by consultants, architects and builders into spending money as if we were a large metro area. Is this not a case of “champagne taste on a beer salary?”

We just got a hike in property tax and there is a new assessment that will be applied in about one year. Are we going to price many out of staying here? What about fixed income people, retired and so forth?

They are out of the earning loop and it will be more and more difficult to cope with.

Some of these projects could be done in increments and not everything overnight. Sure, we need a new jail, but not an extravagant one. Think!

Editor’s note: The Press reported in several stories before the law enforcement center bond referendum that the projected property tax impact would be more than $1 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. The actual rate for the next fiscal year will be $1.10. The bond referendum passed by an almost 69 percent majority.