June 16, 2015

It takes a lot of money—especially since these 5 men have been in office. Here is a 5 year history of taxes levied and the increases these 5 Commissioners have added to our property taxes since they have controlled the budget.
(You can click on chart to enlarge it.)

5 yr history

Last night at 6:00PM the BOC held its second public hearing on the FY16
(7/1/15-6/30/16) county budget. All 5 commissioners were in attendance, and all made comments. Only two citizens attended the meeting.

The following videos are posted so you can see and hear what was said at the meeting:

Chairman congratulates the board members and the staff for their fine work on the budget

“This is the first budget this group of people have really had an opportunity to make a difference, and it takes money to make a difference.”—Gene Trammell

(Just a note: July1, 2013-June 30, 2014 was the first budget these men did. We are still waiting on the audit.)

D5 Commissioner’s comments on Budget.

Comm. Luke said he got the most complaints about dirt roads. He said 20 loads of gravel a week, at a cost of $6200 per week, is what the county spends.

(Note: He did not address how well this gravel is being used and where it is being used—such as uninhabited roads.)

 D2 Commissioner’s comments on Budget.

Comm. Henry said the Sheriff’s department and Public Works are two big hits in this year’s budget. He also said, “Hopefully we will see that this money is well spent in the coming year.”

 D 4 Commissioner addresses the cut they made.

 D1 & D5 commissioners address mil rate in other counties

Comm. Pennamon says the millage rate is higher because the digest is lower in Jasper County. Comm. Luke says we have less population then other counties.

(Note: We have less population and less taxable property (the digest), but we also have less services than larger counties and higher taxes.)

 Last year’s budget hearings were much the same, with excuses as to why they just had to increase the budget and raise our taxes 2 mils. Listen to the videos and remind yourself what was said. Comm. Trammell is doing most of the talking and explaining:

2014 Budget Public Hearings (FY15 Budget)



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Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.



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  1. Forcing Square Pegs Into Round Holes says:

    Please Mr. Trammell, explain to the taxpayers, in your own words, without trite slogans, the specifics of this “difference” which you allude to as justifiable reason for the continuing increase in the cost of Jasper County government?

    It is my understanding of simple economics, that the difference between spending money one can afford versus that borrowed from the future is the difference between have and have not, between solvent and insolvent, and between prosperity and austerity.
    Do you have a different understanding? If so, please explain. Maybe you have some historical economic data that will show debt borrowed against future earnings has increased, and not decreased, future prosperity which validates your allusion that spending the future to fund the present largesse is a great idea?

    But, we both know you don’t.

    Perhaps, the reality is that the voters of Jasper County have elected the wrong people, with their heads full of the wrong ideas, forcibly trying to fit the circumstances of rural Jasper County’s limited tax digest into an idea, instead of making their idea fit the circumstances.

    What we have is a County government bent on beating a square peg in a round hole and all the while claiming square pegs make the difference.

    The price for our electoral mistake will be made apparent in every future tax bill which comes after this Board of Commissioners has made their “difference.”

  2. The Costs Of Incompetence and Blind Ambition Are Infinitely Destructive says:

    Commissioner Pennamon points out Jasper County has a smaller tax digest due to a lower population density than surrounding county as an excuse of why our taxes are higher than surrounding counties, which is an odd change from the old tired excuse “we have to spend the money” to get prepared for growth” which turns out was steaming pile of cow poo as well. The truth is both excuses are fabricated nonsense. Out taxes are high because of incompetent management that possesses neither the will nor the understanding of how to prioritize according to the county’s needs.

    First priorities should be Public Works, Sheriff/Fire/Emergency, and Landfill issues, which we all use. Recreation, Planning and Zoning and Development Authority of Jasper County are not priorities. But…but….we need Recreation and Development to grow, you say?

    And, therein lies the deceptive truth. The BoC are not preparing for growth, they are fervently trying to create growth by spending the uncollected revenue of the future, and failing miserably, partly due to a Catch-222 of their own creation. Very few people want to relocate to a County with a disproportionately high property tax and many already here are looking to move out. And, the only businesses that are attracted are by freebies and handouts in the form of financing, subsidies and free tax rides, all at the expense of the property tax base. This is not only an insult to the taxpayers of Jasper County; it is a slap in the mouth for which there is no voice for recompense outside of TWG.

    Commissioner Luke makes the disconnected comment about how much gravel his tax money will buy, but the point seems lost, if they ever was one or maybe Comm. Luke had no point and just likes to hear the sound of his own voice. That aside, what we can gather from Comm. Luke’s comment is that road maintenance is a costly part of county business and being an essential one should take priority over the other feel good nonsense aimed at “attracting growth”.

    Apparently, Commissioner ”IT TAKES MONEY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE ” Trammell has no conception where this “ money “ that makes a “difference” comes from or maybe as the County manager implied , he’s off in La La land during most meetings and can’t be disturbed by reality. If Comm. Trammell did understand that these tax dollars that he gleefully tosses around like Mardi Gras beads for boob attention comes from real working people, with real budget concerns of their own, then maybe Mr. Trammell would be a little more careful with other people’s money.

    As any who, unlike Gene Trammell, pay attention the sagging economy can attest, people are increasingly careful how and on what they spend their money , and understandably so. One would think Gene Trammell and his administration of high rollers would take a cue from the frugal habits of their constituents, but not a chance.
    For this BoC, spending other people’s money is certainly no problem. It’s when they run out of other people’s money that the problems will arise. We either learn to live within our means today, or suffer the consequences of living without means in the near future.

    Everything has a price. Especially living today at the expense of tomorrow.

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