Jackson County is facing more than a $600,000 budget deficit.
Fingers can be pointed or TVA can be blamed, but the fact is, it’s still there.
Four years ago, county leaders proposed a one-cent sales tax increase. Out of 30,000 or so registered voters, a total of 6,572 elected to exercise the right to vote. As expected, it was easily voted down.
There were two problems four years ago. First, the sales tax increase vote was held in a non-election year. Basically, that means it stood alone on the ballot.
Second, we live in a day and time where unless it affects us directly, we don’t care.
The only time we care is when our road has potholes up and down it or when our homes or vehicles get broken into. But the reality is roads don’t get fixed without funds. And it’s difficult for deputies to patrol Jackson County when the sheriff can only put two or three, at most, on the road.
Four years ago, the Jackson County Commission went community to community to explain the need for a one-cent sales tax increase. At each meeting, it usually consisted of the commission, a reporter and maybe four or five citizens.
Criticism is fair when it comes to government and elected officials. But instead of burying our heads in the sand and not caring because it doesn’t affect us, we need to care. Because it does affect us.
Politics need to be set aside and casting blame needs to subside, because fixes need to happen for Jackson County.