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Taxes down, spending down? Check your TRIM notice!

August 20, 2014 | By | Comments More

400-DELINDA-SNIFFER-PIGWhen I attended Ketterlinus Jr. High School in the 1960’s, the school district began to teach something called “new math”. I never understood that, since 10 + 10 was still equal to 20. But, I was a teenager then and didn’t care what they called it, so long as we could bring cans of Coca Cola from home for our lunch. In any case, me and Delinda, our official “sniff testing” pig, don’t like the smell of this.

Our tax collector, Dennis Hollingsworth, was a year ahead of me and his wife, Jan, was in my class at St Augustine High School. So I am sure that Dennis knows at least a year’s worth of math that I still need to learn. I trust Dennis and know that whatever math he used to calculate our TRIM notices this year was the right math for the job.

Our other local politicians, however, I’m not so sure about — particularly the ones that are running for re-election. They HAVE to be using that “new math” and I am not sure I trust them. Well, I KNOW I don’t trust them; but, I’m just not sure I trust their math.

Take Jay Morris and Ron Sanchez — please. Henny Youngman jokes aside, have you listened to the campaign rhetoric from these two sitting county commissioners, particularly the financial claims (and denials) they make at the drop of a hat; ostensibly reading from tabulations on printed reports that include the “real” numbers about our county’s financial condition?

If you are to believe these two senile old fools, who are more interested in pandering to voters than telling the truth about our finances (if they in fact know themselves), we are living in the land of milk and honey, a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage. Our credit rating (pronounced “debt rating”) has been improved, but that has nothing to do with how many assets we have, how much money, how much facilities, it has to do with our borrowing power and what price we are going to pay to rent the money we borrow.

Just remember this sage advice, you cannot borrow your way out of debt.

Then there is the used car salesman math. “We haven’t raised the millage rate,” they proclaim, even though the budget isn’t final yet. They somehow forget the fact that increased property valuation, even at the same rate-per-thousand, generates more money in taxes that you and I have to pay.

I thought you might want to look at the following chart from the mathematician that I trust, Dennis Hollingsworth, where you can see for yourself the rate of increase in taxable budget between last year (actual) and this coming year (proposed) — for each of the county’s taxing authorities.

640-2013-2014-TAX-BUDGETS

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Category: Editorials

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