Letters to the Editor, Feb. 18
Wheel tax is most fair way to raise county revenue
To the Editor:
Voters in Bedford County will have a voice on March 1. Regardless of which primary you vote in, voters will be allowed to decide whether Bedford County will institute a new form of revenue commonly known as a wheel tax.
Currently, our revenue sources are limited to sales tax (which is at its maximum) or a property tax for those who own property in Bedford County. The proposed new tax would be $50 per vehicle, and the proceeds would be used for building schools, maintaining roads and building a state-mandated jail. The County Commission added to its resolution that the tax cannot be increased without going back before you, the voters.
As you know, we are faced with building a new Cascade High School and a new county jail in the near future. This is just the beginning of the needs of the school system and judicial system. New revenue will be required to fund these projects, and it must come from either property taxes or the wheel tax.
At this time, we do not have firm numbers on the cost of a new jail since the site and architectural firm have not been chosen. The new high school is projected to cost about $18 million.
We, the members of the county finance committee, want the citizens of Bedford County to know that we strive to keep the property tax rate as low as possible, and that we work hard each year to put forth a budget that is fiscally responsible in all areas. We will have about $1.3 million available from bonds being paid off by May 2017. That will help us to borrow for the needed projects, but it will not be enough. Be assured that we have closely examined the value of each penny of property tax revenue, as well as sales tax revenue, as we held budget hearings in preparation of the county budget.
We urge you, the voters, to let your voice heard and vote on March 1. If you think the wheel tax is a fairer way to distribute the costs for school, roads, and jails, then we urge you to vote for the wheel tax. If you think that all the new revenue needed for building a new school and a jail should come from increased property taxes, then vote accordingly. Either way, thank you for your time and your support as we strive to make Bedford County a better place to live and work.
County Mayor Eugene Ray and
Bedford County Financial Management Committee
Thanks for story on Brenda Ayers
To the editor:
Thank you for printing the article about Brenda Ayers. She is very deserving of this recognition. She is an excellent example of the leadership and mentoring our young people need. We are happy to be her friends.
Billy and Barbara Redd
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