Mercer County has spending problems

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Letter to the Editor:

Mr. Tom Harris and the County Board is back again asking the taxpayers to increase taxes while they merrily increase spending.  County revenues from 2005 to 2007 have already increased by over $640,000 to $9.7 million, or about 7 percent increase, yet they want more taxes and more money to spend.

Like most of our government organizations, Mercer County has a spending problem - not a revenue problem. Governments want to tax more and spend more. Somewhere this needs to stop. Our children and grandchildren are already up to their collective necks in government sponsored debt, taxes and spending.

During tough economic times, we all have to become more frugal to make ends meet. The County Board wants to take more of our money that is needed by all of us, the taxpayers, so that they at the County can spend merrily along the way - oblivious to the needs of the citizens.

For the year 2007, the County burnt through (spent) about $26,000 a day - everyday - 365 days a year! That is $1,080 per hour in 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Wow! The hourly spending rate would be $4,550 an hour based on a normal work week.

Over the past 10 years, county government spending has increased by about $2.5 million or 36 percent or about 4 percent per year while the county population has decreased by about 1.9 percent. During this time period the inflation rate has increased on average about 2.6 percent per year. Does Mr. Tom Harris and the other County Board members know what the phrase "prudent financial management" means? Do they not also understand that the taxpayers have already said "NO" twice in the past couple of years?

On the Ballot of April 7, the County Board is asking again that we, the taxpayers, let them tax, tax, tax, and spend, spend, spend. The sales tax that is on the ballot is a regressive tax and is more burdensome to the poor, the elderly and those on fixed incomes. Sales taxes will raise the cost of gasoline at the pump by about two cents each gallon and will raise the cost of many of the other purchases that we make.

We do NOT need more taxes! Tell the County Board we are overtaxed and that they need to cut expenses. A vote NO is a positive vote for the taxpayers, citizens and businesses in Mercer County.


Tony Rees