County reserves too high for taxpayers

County reserves too high for taxpayers

To the editor:

Recent letters to the editor by John Priore and Jim Shelby have debated the issue of county revenue reserves. Mr. Shelby contends you cannot have zero reserves to meet unexpected emergencies. Mr. Priore states that $16 million in reserves, and growing every year, is too much.

They are both right, so let’s quit bonding to build the reserves and spend them down to $8 million to $10 million or so. This is a reasonable amount of reserves to protect the county.

Mr. Shelby is correct that the county’s share of the rate has been reduced each of the last four years, but how much more should it have been reduced? Has the county’s share of the tax rate gone down because the others increased? It’s a convenient statistic, but how meaningful is it as a measure of responsible governance?

When tax rates go down but assessments go up, people still must pay the same or more. And it is those who have not reached their tax cap limit that must bear the burden of this. Let’s find common ground on this and move on.

Shelton Oakes