Commission should explore every avenue

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 29, 2000

The recent discussion concerning ways that the county commission may be able to raise funds to build a new jail and to help put Butler Countians back to work through economic development projects has centered around the possibility of a tax increase. The commissioners have planned a second public forum on Feb. 3 with hopes that they will hear new opinions and ideas about what might be done to help resolve these issues.

The commission, by county law, is not able to raise taxes with a simple motion and vote like many municipalities. However, they can approve a local representative, in this case Rep. Charles Newton, to introduce a bill in the Alabama House for approval. The only way the commission can raise property taxes would be through a referendum of the voters of Butler County.

But, the idea of raising taxes should not be the only one on the table. The county, which has no debt, should explore every possible solution to the problem before settling for any kind of taxation. Either way there would be consequences and that is the decision the commission will ultimately have to make. We encourage the citizens of the county to contact the commission, attend public meetings, and make sure the citizen-voice is heard.

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