I would like to add some information to the letter that was in the Jefferson Post editorial page recently.
The tax rate for land transfer tax is 0.4%. Not 4 percent, but 0.4 of one percent. This rate was set by the NC State Legislature and ONLY the state legislature can INCREASE the tax rate. Commissioners can lower the rate, as some counties that have the transfer tax have reduced the rate, BUT the Commissioners can NEVER raise the rate.
I can’t explain why you have never heard Ashe County Commissioners talk about spending cuts. We talk about spending cuts all the time. We have, and will continue, to discuss spending cuts at every work session, budget meeting, economical discussion that we hold. We started a work session an hour before each meeting to work on funding, what is mandated by the federal and state government, what our local needs are, and how do we get the money to pay for these needs. The past three meetings we have met at noon before the regular work session and commissioners meeting to discuss our budget. We will be spending several days to work on the budget before June 30th. All of these meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome to attend.
As to cutting out all spending on illegal immigrants. I don’t know of any money we are spending on any illegals here in the county except what is mandated by the federal and state governments. The school system is mandated by federal and state laws to provide an education for children of illegal immigrants, so is any monies spent by the Department of Social Services. Sheriff Williams is obligated to feed, clothe, and shelter any illegals that are in his custody. There is NO county fund set up for spending on illegal immigrants.
I don’t know about you, but I have to make a decision every day if I can afford something or not. Anytime I go into a store I see many things I want and would like to have. But I have to consider whether I can afford the purchase or not. This is true whether you are buying land in Ashe, Alleghany, Raleigh or even Florida.
We already have a tax on homes and land, it is called PROPERTY Tax. We have to pay property taxes each and every year; a land transfer tax is a one time only tax on the sale of property.
Former Commissioner Calhoun’s letter left out a few things. He originally wanted a 250 bed jail. There is a “shell”, called a pod, that will be left for future growth. It is not a separate building, just an unfinished room in the jail. The pod will have all plumbing and electrical wiring already finished for future growth. The room will be under supervision by the guard tower already in place. No new personnel would be required. The sheriff will be using this pod to store drugs, guns, and other evidence collected until the need arises for more beds. Richard Calhoun was present when the Superior Court Judge told Commissioners to either build a new jail or move all prisoners to other jails. Richard Calhoun wanted all prisoners taken to Alleghany County (where we would have to pay Alleghany for: rent; medical treatment, etc.; transportation to and from Alleghany when arrested, and for court appearances for all prisoners) instead of building a new jail. I know this would help Alleghany pay for their jail expenses, and increase the usage of medical facilities at Alleghany Hospital, I can’t see where all this expense would help Ashe County. Richard Calhoun supports a sales tax for Ashe County, well I would support a sales tax for Alleghany because I don’t live and shop in Alleghany daily. As I have said before, I wasn’t elected to represent Alleghany, I was elected to work for what’s best for Ashe County.
Judy Porter Poe