I have been attending several of the commissioner and county council meetings the last few months and have listened to the elected officials discuss the serious financial hardships the county is facing with all of the budget cuts and less tax revenue due to the recession.
I read in the Clarion last week where the county highway department doesn't even have enough money left in the 2009 budget to pay for salaries and benefits for the remaining 23 workers and may have to consider more layoffs. I also read in this same issue that the county is adopting a tax abatement policy since we have had a couple of companies expressing interest in starting new plants in our county.
What I don't understand is why a company like LGR comes to a few of our commissioner and county council meetings and boasts about the $100 million plant that they are going to build and how it is going to be a great benefit to the county, and then say they need a tax abatement.
This same company is now planning to build a similar plant, as is proposed here, in Scottsburg.
I attended the Scottsburg Town Board meeting a couple of weeks ago and listened to the owners of LGR tell the Scottsburg board that they will be building a $100 million plant there, as well. But guess what? They need a tax abatement.
In my opinion, if they can come up with funding to already be starting two $100 million plants, maybe they should be willing to pay their fair share of taxes. Which leads me to my original question, where is our tax break?
I may have come up with a solution for our elected officials to consider, which could be beneficial to the county and their budget shortfall and to residents of Crawford County who have lived here and paid more than their fair share of taxes through the years. I know of several people who are currently laid off or retired who have a good many qualified skills in different fields. I am including myself in this number. I bet that some of these folks would be happy to offer their services, perhaps a couple of eight-hour days per month, for a reduction in their property tax bill. I know I would. This way, the county could be getting work done without having to pay a salary or provide benefits. This could be done as contract labor.
I mean, come on, if we are going to give anyone a tax break, why not the people that have made their homes here in the county and take pride in the county instead of letting big business come in, that don't even live here, and tell us how they are going to save us from doom and gloom, but that they just need that little old tax abatement to sweeten the pot?
If anyone agrees with my possible solution to our county's problems and you have a few hours a month you could offer for a tax break on your taxes, perhaps you should contact your elected officials or come to the meetings and let them know how you feel.