I went to a County Commissioners meeting yesterday. Our superintendent was there too. Why? Well… a grocery story that opened a year ago, February 2nd, 2011, wanted a tax cut. Now, in general, that doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Unless you are the recipient of the monies that are gotten via that tax cut.
Their tax bill for the year was about $50K. According to law, new businesses can as for up to a 50% discount for up to 5 years. Usually this is asked for before they literally break ground. However, the local new grocery store is trying to get the tax cut after the year mark and after they’ve gotten their tax bill. Plus, you have to notify all the stake holders, which is anyone who receives funding via those taxes. At the moment, they are filing an abatement and the assessor is checking the tax records. This means that I get to go to the meeting next week too.
I was there with my school board president hat on. Reason… We get 49% of our funding via tax revenue from local sources. So, if you pay $100.00 in taxes, we receive $49.00 of that for the schools. Are you beginning to see why the school district might have an interest in taxes? We explained that out of $50K, we usually receive $25K in revenue. If they got their taxes cut in half, we’d only receive about $10K in tax income for the school district. That loss of $10K equals the salary of a custodian or an aide or 1/2 a teacher. Considering the budget issues that we are facing as one of the lowest funded districts, a $10K loss would be significant. We explained that to the commissioners and the grocery store.
Something that wasn’t said was the fact that the daughter of the grocery store owners works for the school district. Part time. The irony is that their win for a tax cut might literally cut their daughter’s salary right out of the budget.