In July 22 Issue
For an economy to be flat lined and most all governments crying hard times and/or budget problems, we have a lot of construction underway in Russell County.
A new judicial center, a new county jail, a new health department, a hospital expansion planned, and possibly even others.
Of course we are proud to be able to boast of this new construction as it not only adds services, it shows a progressive county and it provides very important and needed employment.
There are also at least two sides to every issue and the other side to this issue is the fact that someone has to pay for these new buildings and jobs.
No doubt, the new judicial center will be quite an attractive addition to Jamestown and the county. It will be a showplace, we are certain. But, the state’s budget, according to this last session, is just not representative of such state-wide expenditures.
While the new center is not a financial responsibility of the county, the lack of rent on the present facility will be noted in the county budget and we are sure the present courthouse will require a certain amount of remodeling, once the state moves into the new facility.
Many express the opinion the new center will be very nice but it is an expenditure that could have waited for better financial times.
The new county jail has also been a very controversial issue. Not just what size facility to build but whether or not to even build a new facility. The operation of the jail is a very expensive item for the county and we certainly hope the new, larger facility will be a positive financial experience.
The new health department will also be an extremely nice facility and a welcomed addition to the county.
Plans are being formulated now for expansion to our hospital. Definitely a much needed move to provide community health care.
All of these things are great for our community and we certainly support them but we must all remember how these are financed and who pays for them.
Real estate continues to take its downward plunge not only in sales but in real value. As your property value goes down, so goes the county base for taxes.
As the value of real estate declines, we must remember the only way the county can maintain its income, is to raise taxes. Home values have taken a plunge nationwide and Russell County is certainly not an exception.
We feel the immediate future will bring tax increases, cities and county and very likely state and national.
As we stated earlier, we certainly are proud of all these new construction projects and county facilities. But, reality tells they must be paid for and the approval for a tax increase among taxpayers would be as popular as a broken arm.
Seems like we should be getting ready for a cast. Do you prefer right or left arm?