June 13, 2017

 After months of budget discussions without allowing any citizen input, the BOC finally held (legally required) public hearings on the budget. 

 Even though everyone knew it wasn’t going to change any minds on the BOC, two citizens attended to give their opinions.

 Mr. Charles Forsythe, a 30 year veteran of finance and budgeting for the Pentagon, spoke first.  He has attended most all budget meetings, and his comments were based on what he heard and saw during those meetings.

Mr. Forsythe urged the BOC to use the rollback rate since it appears that there will be a $500,000 surplus, and taxpayers have been overtaxed.  Property owners were also overtaxed the previous year, when there was also a big surplus.

Mrs. Mary Patrick, a local CPA and former commissioner, spoke next.  She pointed out that citizens had not been allowed to be involved in the budget process at all (there were no citizen comments allowed at any budget worksession).

Mrs. Patrick also pointed out that using $150,000 of the curbside fund was going to leave a big problem for someone else in the future when it was time to have landfill post-closure funds available.  Curbside funds were also used last year to balance the budget.

After finally being allowed to express their opinion, which is what a public hearing is for, Comm. Craig Salmon tried his best to disparage the citizens and deride their commentsUnfortunately, the other commissioners allowed this to occur.

Salmon, who of course is much more of a budgeting expert than Mr. Forsythe, responded to Forsythe’s comments:

Salmon then responded to Patrick’s comments.  Of course, posting an agenda and letting people attend a meeting (because they are legally required to) is not the same as allowing them to comment or even ask questions during the budget process.

Salmon’s comment of “we are trying to involve the citizens” is nothing but lip service.

The next public hearing for the budget is June 19 at 6:00PM.  Why waste your time?



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.

This entry was posted in Budgets, County, Open Government, Property taxes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Joe Mann says:

    When you are such a little man, you have to do something to make yourself look big. Salmon must need the light shining on him so someone anyone will notice him.

  2. County Meeting No Place For Personal Vendettas says:

    Craig Salmon wishes for more citizen involvement, yet when citizens come before the board and make comments that Salmon does not agree with, he goes out of his way during the meeting to belittle the comments and disparage the citizen speaker. This type of disjointed behavior is unprofessional and certainly not conducive to creating a welcoming climate for increased citizen involvement in county government.

    Now, we know that Salmon has alerted the public to heath issues he may suffer, but if he cannot get a grip on his proclivity for disputing county business with personal vendettas then he should seek professional counseling or suffer board intervention; whatever form that may take.

  3. Oconeejack says:

    The biggest issue we got is the increase in value of our af zoned property.
    If the properties are worth so much more then we need a rollback on requirements of ag businesses.
    If you never been a farmer then you have no idea how hard it is to create a living off ag property
    If the property values keep going up then farmers who by the way live on fixed rates.
    Livestock and produce rates stay the same but the county wants to sat the property values increase
    My question is how can ag property values increase when prices are stagnate.
    If a person is truly a farmer and it’s not a hobby then the property values should be stable.
    Tax the hobby farms leave the rest of us alone.

    • taxdogs says:

      Anyone with over 10 acres can get a conservation rate on their land. Which is taxed at about a 10th of what normal taxes would be. An application has to be submitted to and approved by the board of assessors.

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