Letter to the editor: Uncontrolled growth leaves leaders no options

letter to editor email phone stock image

To the editor:

To those paying attention to the tax abatement and TIF programs in Hancock County, which should include all commissioners and county council members, it should come as no surprise that police, fire and EMS services now have needs for which there is no money to pay for.

When they admitted large numbers of companies, and the employees who work for them, they knew that there would be no money to pay for services to them. That would be true even if abatement and TIF had not been provided. The state formula for increasing property taxes does not reward units of government for increased assessed evaluation, but rather an increase in property taxes is allowed each year in the approximate amount of the rise in inflation. So even if there had been no abatement or TIF on the newly built properties, there would have been no new money to pay for new services.

So why did our government leaders put us in this position? They wanted new jobs added in the county. That would be a worthy goal if this was Henry or Madison County, where new jobs are needed. But Hancock County has always had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. So we have attracted new jobs that we do not need, with expenses that we cannot pay for.

People, please look closely at the promises made by the candidates for public office. This is where we end up when policymakers don’t understand the consequences of their actions.

Warren Hiser