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Higher property taxes will hurt Carbon County

    It is hard to believe, but apparently our County Commissioners are requesting even higher taxes.
    The reason is that they are not receiving as much money in the form of royalties from coal and natural gas. Well, duh! Even someone of diminished mental capacity could foresee that the energy industry in Carbon County has been declining for the last 10 years. Yet, ten years ago Carbon County had higher population and more miles of road, and they accomplished the work, with one-half of the employees that they have working today. Salaries and benefits are over twice as high as they were ten years ago.
    The last group of commissioners tried to borrow their way out of debt and that did not work. Now some of the same commissioners want to tax their way out of poor management and lack of foresight. I guarantee that will not work either. It will in fact have the opposite effect. It will lead to less economic development and a continued migration out of Carbon County, with little or no new industry considering locating here.
    Drive down Main Street of Price and you can observe just how prosperous Carbon County is.
    The way to encourage economic development is lower taxes.
    When income declines for whatever reason it is time to make the hard choices and layoff personnel. At least a portion of the 100+ that were hired over the last ten years. Maybe start with personal friends and family members of the commissioner’s.
    A good second step would be to get competitive bids on any and all work done in the county that exceeds $5000. Then actually use the low bidder. The policy of writing a blank check to favored firms, i.e., professional services and construction companies, could reduce the County’s costs considerably.
    I suppose the reason the largest increase in taxes are hitting people that live in the county is because I live there? Actually, it is probably due to the commissioner’s belief that if they only pick on people in the county maybe they think they would have a chance of being reelected. Let’s hope not.
    Give me a break. I live in Eagle Cliff Subdivision and we receive no county services! We plow our own roads and I have never seen a sheriff car patrol our area. The stop sign on Eagle Drive fell over 6 years ago and it is still lying on the ground. I have never heard of an ambulance on our roads or any other county provided service. Yet, those 15 lots and 7 homeowners pay almost $50,000 a year in property taxes, with no services provided. The county said that they would take over road maintenance after a few years and that was fourteen years ago. So much for assurances by County Commissioners!
    I hope every citizen of Carbon County remembers how this commission has run the county into the ground when it comes time to vote next year. That is assuming we can afford to live in Carbon County next year.
Mel Coonrod

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