I tweeted at State Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, during today’s York County commissioners meeting.
Here’s what Grove had to say about the county’s proposed 8.9 percent real estate tax increase — and about county officials saying they’ve been forced into this situation by state and federal cuts:
We had major federal cuts in the billions from stimulus funding expiring and we didn’t raise taxes. We rolled up our sleeves and found a way to balance 2 budgets on time without any reserve funds (Rendell spent them all before he left office). We didn’t once blame anyone. We dealt with the economic realities of our times and produced 2 budgets which matched those realities.
Raising taxes takes money out of the economy, and continues economic suppression. Not raising taxes is the best way to spur the economy. At the end of the day, it is their decision as elected officials to raise or not raise taxes. They have to answer to voters just like every other elected official.Tough times calls for tough leadership – playing the blame game isn’t leadership. Getting to work, thinking outside the box, and communicating with residents is.Some ideas for County budgeting:Opt into the Human Services Block Grant to provide more flexibility in their budget. We also put language in the fiscal code which will reallocate unspent state dollars in human service funding to “at need counties” like York. That revenue should be allocated in the 3rd quarter.I for one would cut the cable TV off at the prison and refocus corrections resources to educate prisoners to ensure they are productive members of society upon their release and not fund prisoner playtime.The other aspect of budgeting is funding programs that work. Use data to drive budgetary decisions. It is taxpayer accountability at its best. Implementing performance based budgeting is a great tool the Commissioners should implement this fiscal year to start looking the results of programs and try to minimize political budgeting.I am in no way a York County budget specialist, but I know if I would be a Commissioner, I would be working day and night to develop a no tax increase budget on behalf of the residents of York County.