Evaluation by Robert A. Williams
The Cleveland County Commissioners, headed by Chairman Jason Falls and Eddie Holbrook, adopted August 5, 2014, an “Order To Collect Taxes” going back ten years. In this order, the Cleveland County Tax Collector is authorized, empowered and COMMANDED to collect all taxes outstanding for the years 2013 BACK TO 2004. The Tax Collector is to set as a first lien taxes on property (real and personal) and to sell such property as necessary to collect the taxes. County Manager Jeff Richardson stated this was the process necessary to collect taxes owed. The commissioners voted unanimously to pass this order.
Of course it would not be fair for Commissioners to require property owners to pay taxes on their property and then allow some property owners to get by without paying the property taxes. But there are other things that are also not fair.
1. Commissioners letting some rich folks get their property valuated low to reduce their tax bill, while us poorer folks having to pay at inflated property values that are much more than the fair market value of the property.
2. Commissioners knowingly holding off on property re-evaluations because of the downturn in the economy which has depressed actual fair market property values.
3. Commissioners giving away money to everybody that comes through the door with their hands out.
4. Commissioners freezing county employees pay because they have spent so much money that they can’t afford to pay employees what the job is worth.
5. Commissioners promising the world to the Catawba Indians if they will build a Casino near Kings Mountain. See a separate article on this.
6. Commissioners are now planning to build a $1 million gun range when the project started out as being of no expense to Cleveland County. Commissioners seem to have the habit of getting involved with projects that are said to be low cost, but then stay in on the project when costs escalate beyond reason and it was reasonable to predict that was going to happen from the start.
7. Commissioners getting involved with city projects which pass the financial burden to county taxpayers who will not benefit from the project.
8. Commissioners do not spend any time at all trying to figure out ways to cut waste and inefficiencies in county government. The list goes on and on.
As Forrest Gump might say, “Fair is what fair does.” It seems, especially in an Election Year, that Commissioners would spend some time thinking of ways to save money instead of helping people get through hard times without first foreclosing on their property.
Jason Falls and Eddie Holbrook voted to sic the tax collectors on our citizens without any discussion of the items noted above or any discussion with the people. When Willie McIntosh was a Commissioner, McIntosh held many “Listening Tours” around Cleveland County asking people what they thought about issues of the times-like merging schools. Willie listened to the people and voted against merging the county schools. McIntosh was outvoted and the schools were merged and the results have shown that merger was a disaster. Willie McIntosh was right to listen to the people and he was right about merger. We urge all voters to vote on November 4, 2014 and “single shot” vote for Willie McIntosh for Commissioner.