An “Our View” earlier this week called out local elected officials regarding the financial situation in Jackson County.
It appears the editorial might have ruffled a few feathers, which was the point. It was a good thing and the point.
It’s easy to blame current officials, but this goes way back.
It goes back almost 50 years ago with a thing called Bellefonte. TVA was going to build Bellefonte and save us all.
Life would be great. Scottsboro would grow to rival Huntsville or become another Hoover or Mountain Brook.
And so began the dangling process that went on for more than 40 years. In the last few years we’ve gotten a little dog and pony show every so often about how Bellefonte would be completed, come Hell or high water.
We put all our hopes and dreams there. Sadly, there may be some still hoping and dreaming. Reality check to those: stop. It’s not happening.
That brings us to now. Not one cent of the sales tax we pay goes to county government. In Scottsboro, for example, nine cents of sales tax are currently collected for every dollar spent. Of the nine cents, four cents goes to Montgomery for the state’s Education Trust Fund, three cents is sent directly to the municipality for its use as city leaders see fit and two cents is collected by the county for distribution to the Jackson County and Scottsboro City school districts.
Elected officials are always quick to scream, “no new taxes.” But remember two years ago, right after the election, how state officials passed a 10-cent fuel tax?
This is how that works: they pass it right after an election, and then they spend the next three years hoping we will forget as they remind us how they are going to save our souls by protecting our Second Amendment rights, halt immigration and have Clinton or Obama arrested.
Voters rejected a one-cent sales tax increase a few years ago. If I recall, under 7,000 people of the 30,000 or so registered voters exercised their right to vote in that election.
Maybe a one-cent sales tax increase is not the answer, or, maybe it is. As hard as it may seem to figure out the problem, it comes down to one simple fact.
Elected officials need to come together and stop pointing fingers and blaming others. But most importantly, above all else, they just need to do their jobs.
DeWayne Patterson is the editor and publisher of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email to email@example.com.