Send a message

Voters had an opportunity to send a message to local politicians on election day. The message should have been that tax and spend policies will need to be managed and prioritized much more efficiently than recently demonstrated.

The Wood County Commission is raising levy rates at an alarming pace, while also attempting to create additional tax burdens by virtue of a county sales tax. As demonstrated by the City Council of Parkersburg, this effort does raise a significant amount of tax revenue, some $6 million for the City. And as proven by the City Council, they will find a way to spend it. And, although they already had the funds necessary to meet the pension obligations, they chose to double the police and fire fees to pay for the unfunded liability anyway. Why, because they can and neither we the people, nor the media have held them to account for that.

The unfunded pension liability should be addressed, but the city had the funds and should never target a single taxpayer group to shoulder all of the burden. That is not “Equal Protection Under the Law.” The fact that they had excess revenue only serves to highlight how egregious the tax and spend policies have become.

Media would be doing a great service to citizens if they would investigate and report the tax and spend policies of the recent past. Helping citizens become informed on how and why government raises taxes and spends the hard earned money we make seems like a responsibility that is not being met.

What are our priorities? Sure roads and infrastructure are important but I don’t think that type of funding outweighs the funding necessary to combat crime and drugs. Council will throw money at infrastructure, but debate for hours or days on whether police should get a raise. That seems out of touch to me and if you agree, perhaps you should quit voting for the same people who demonstrate this type of thinking.

Denny Harton