POCAHONTAS, AR (KAIT) - Let's be honest, no one like taxes. The government proposes them, and the individuals hate them. Now, Randolph County wants to pass a half cent sales tax in November. "There's not a single quorum court member that wants to raise taxes. I don't want to raise taxes," says Randolph County Judge David Jansen.
Jansen says the county is already struggling with the 2010 budget, "We started off three hundred eighty-eight thousand dollars in the hole," and have already taken steps to make up for lost revenue. "We change health insurance, quorum court froze all county salaries so no one got a raise, and then we ended up having to take out 210 thousand dollars out of our perpetual funds saving account to make up for the short fall." He says the tax increase is the best way for the county to stay afloat. "I can assure you that I spend our taxpayers' money on needs not wants and we are, we just squeezed this thing so tight that I don't know where we can squeeze anymore," Jansen says to maintain the current services-- like road repairs and police protection-- citizens need to vote for the tax increase.
Of course no one likes to hear tax increase, and in an economy where people are already tightening up their belts, getting the increase to pass will be difficult.
Randolph County Citizens say: "I'm not for it. I think they need to cut some services and figure out away to cut and make it work without it," says Rudy Gazaway.
"I'm not complete for taxes anytime but if the community thinks we need it, I'll be for it myself," says Jack French."It's going to be hard to sell this tax. Everything has kind of tightened up a lot and it might pass but it's going to be tough," says Jim Kincade.
The power is in the communities hands, and if it doesn't pass Jansen says it could mean problems in the future. "The quorum court would have to see what mandated services we are required to provide, or we're going to have to take it out of the perpetual saving account and dwindle that down to nothing eventually."
Jansen says he is confident that the community will vote in the tax increase. He emphasizes it is not about creating new services, but to maintain the current ones.