0

Officials don't live in the real world

Officials don't live in the real world

To the editor:

Currently, the City of Jonesboro faces the task of closing an approximated $300,000 gap between projected revenues and the new budget. One proposal has been to increase the millage rate, but this would affect only certain businesses.

To those who opposed this proposal, I applaud you! To those who favor increased taxes, I ask, What reality do you live in? Increasing taxes is not the solution, but cutting government fat and waste is the first step. No one likes the idea of layoffs or work furloughs, but something has to be done. Do you realize how many out of work people would love to have a four-day work week? It seems the City Council may have forgotten their roles in that they are public servants and work for the citizens, and not the opposite.

I believe that increasing taxes will serve only to expedite the departure of current businesses. If businesses ran their affairs the way government does, they would not be in business for very long. Conversely, if government used some business acumen, a tax increase would likely not be necessary.

I understand that many people thought that the current Streetscape Project might be part of the solution. Perhaps someone can explain to the citizens why no one had the foresight to thoroughly research the locations of the current basements that extended into the street area underground, costing an additional $70,000. With unemployment now exceeding 9 percent for the greatest, extended period in the history of the country, and more and more businesses closing their doors everyday, I'm sure raising taxes will cause business to flock to our city.

Perhaps someone can also explain to the citizens how the city managed to allow Georgia Power to overpay approximately $200,000 to the city. This amount alone would almost offset the projected budget shortfall for the coming year. This was an oversight from the previous mayor, that we are paying back yearly. I ask you, if you raise taxes this year, what happens next year?

The city in its last work session could not come up with an exact number for the shortfall. Let a business manager tell his higher-ups he doesn't know what his daily totals are. Next thing, he'd be standing in the unemployment line. Here is how it works in the real world. If a business has a shortfall, it has no choice but to cut hours or lay off employees. I heard one councilman say: "Well, they will just go up on their products." Well, if a business goes up on its products, Mr. Councilman, to compensate for it's shortfall, it will lose customers.

If you see fit to raise taxes on businesses and homeowners, they will have no choice but to relocate to a better area, or just go out of business. That's the real world!

JOHN TEMPLEMAN

Jonesboro