Culver engages in yet another questionable reasoning tactic, by referencing a simple percentage increase in income tax revenue to question why we need another tax. Percentages don’t pay bills; dollars pay the bills. From 2012 to 2013 the income tax revenue gain for the entire county was $3 million — the recession-related funding shortfall was $37 million. Next year the revenue projection is an increase of $11 million. Unfortunately, increasing costs (health insurance for example), will use up a good portion of this increase. We are treading water a few feet below the surface.
Although he received several invitations, Rep. Culver formed his opinion without discussing the county’s lower rate tax option with anyone in the Commissioners’ office.
He not only receives a ‘fail’ on reasoning, his opinion also implies locally-elected school boards and city and county councils are spendthrifts. Culver has never attended a county budget session during my 12 years in office and I suspect he has never attended a school board budget session or a city council budget session. He fails to acknowledge the significant cost reductions achieved by these elected officials. Instead he writes “we want what we always had.”
Local budgets are being balanced every year by people who live, work and pay taxes in this community. They are elected by the people to protect and enable a safe and vibrant community. And they deserve far more respect from our state legislators than represented in Culver’s point of view.
Mike Yoder is an Elkhart County Commissioner.