Friday, June 29, 2012

Jeff Phillips, Republican Nominee, Guilford County Commissioners, District 5: "County budget sleight of hand"

"...I have become more aware of how the Guilford County Board of Commission operates,
discovering a good bit about their trickery as well.

...Fox and the BoCs initially proposed a budget that would require a 9.5 cent tax increase.

"County passes budget, slight tax decrease"

Then came the outcry of the public, along with a few commissioners,
who suddenly saw the light of fiscal conservatism in an election year.

Then came the puzzling announcement
of a $5.6 billion increase in Guilford County property values.

Bottom line: higher taxes for many property owners.

"Commercial Real Estate Prices Just Hit A New Post-Bubble Low"

Not long after the revaluation,
a revised budget was revealed that would only require a 4 cent property tax increase.

It seemed that the additional $15 million of revenue from existing property values
and new construction growth would more than make up for the now lower tax increase.

...The late-breaking news is announced that the commissioners
will now proudly present a slight “reduction” in the tax rate.

It would seem that our local economy is now on the mend,
as reflected by the much-improved property and sales tax revenue projections.

And the crowd goes wild!

Or so it would seem.

What’s wrong with this picture?

What are the chances, and why did we get a tax decrease
after a projected big shortfall until revals?

First, the increase in property values resulted in a tax increase
to many Guilford County residents without anyone calling it a tax increase.

Also, to make the approved budget numbers work,
sales tax revenue projections needed to be increased by millions over last year
– a guesstimate, at best.

And then there is the revelation that you could have easily missed
if you had been looking “over there.”

The 2012-13 budget that passed on a unanimous vote by the Board of Commissioners
will spend at least $8 million more of our money than last year ($587 versus $579 million).

have happened in Guilford County,
which could explain the tax cut instead of a projected increase?

So why are the commissioners so proud of their recent win for Guilford County?

...It should be very concerning to all of us
that the families and hard-working taxpayers of Guilford County
are being told they got a great deal from our commissioners,
as county spending and taxes for many are going up significantly."

Jeff Phillips
Republican Nominee
Guilford County Commissioners, District 5

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