The following videos are from the Cherokee County Commissioners’ meeting on February 20, 2012 in North Carolina. The issue being debated concerns a contract with an outside vendor to audit the business property listings with the state in order to collect taxes on equipment and supplies. Any discrepancies found by the firm would result in their receipt from the county of a 35% fee for any new taxes collected, interest and penalties.
The end result was to void the contract and perform the audits in some other manner that will not result in paying the commission. Whether the audits will be performed in the future is subject to another meeting.
What are the lessons from this meeting?
- The commissioners did not sell the audit correctly. Although the outside firm had a good idea how much money would be generated by this audit for the county, this figure never was addressed. The people never saw a benefit from the audits to anyone except the outside vendor.
- The distribution of the money generated from the audit was never discussed. Would the money be used to reduce property taxes and provide relief to the people in the country where unemployment is 20%?
- Is the county is financial distress? Based on the incredible spending sprees from the last commissioners and a contingency fund that is twice what the state requires, the answer is no.
Should the business owners be required to render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s? Yes. Should the commissioners be held accountable for the financial state of the county and provide tax relief to the taxpayers in bad times? Yes. Will anyone suffer if the businesses do not pay their “fair share”? No. Can Cherokee County pay down their debt and reduce their monthly expenditures and budget without raising taxes? Yes. The following videos show over 150 people standing up against local government. Even more importantly, they won their argument.
Cherokee County Commissioners’ Meeting – Part 1
Cherokee County Commissioners’ Meeting – Part 2
Cherokee County Commissioners’ Meeting – Part 3
Cherokee County Commissioners’ Meeting – Part 4