Penny wise, pound foolish
Over the last several weeks there has been much discussion over budget.
Whether it be on the local level or the state, there has been much talk, discussion and sometimes, contentious, debate.
There have been a few discussions that have stuck out to us and left us scratching our heads.
One such discussion happened during a recent meeting of the Forest City Town Council.
During their last meeting, council members voted down a proposal to increase the solid waste collection fee by 4.1 percent.
The recommendation by Town Manager John Condrey was to offset a $42,000 shortfall in solid waste collection revenues for the coming year.
If you do the math, as Finance Director Julie Scherer did, the fee increase amounts to $0.66 a month for one roll out container — or most residential customers in Forest City. It also meant a $1.62 increase per month for a small business sharing dumpster. Fees for commercial containers and cardboard containers would also increase, according to a memo from Scherer.
However, three members of the council decided that was too much.
To us, no matter how you slice it, the fee increase is not that significant to most residents in town.
But, the bottom line is by rejecting the proposal, the town will continue to operate that portion of the budget at a deficit and that deficit will have to be made up at some point.
Guess where that deficit will be made up?
That's right, taxpayer dollars.
So regardless of whether it is a fee increase or an increase elsewhere, we will still have to foot the bill. It seems the smartest thing to do was to raise the rate and take care of the shortfall now, rather than wait for another solution to come to the surface.
Another interesting debate happened in Raleigh.
The North Carolina House voted to repeal public financing of political campaigns through the $3 voluntary check-off on the state income tax return.
Supporters said the state has no business giving public money to political parties to help finance political campaigns and the repeal saves the state $2 million.
The bottom line is the political action committees gain more and more influence while the taxpayers save a paltry 0.0001 percent in the state budget.
It seems we are spending more and more time arguing over chump change rather than serious money and taxpayer savings.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark