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Reader’s Forum — 11-4-13

Towns may have lower taxes, but also have garbage fees
I am writing to complete Dr. Bill Hitt’s letter of last week where he asserted that a number of cities surrounding us had a lower property tax than the City of Lincolnton. While he is correct, he did not explain that they had lower tax rates due to the use of garbage collection fees to keep their tax rate down. All (that is, 100 percent) of the towns cited use a garbage collection fee to generate revenue and only one of the towns has a fee lower than the $10 rejected by our City Council in August. All but one of these cities use additional fees for collecting other items (recyclables, debris, discarded furniture and appliances, etc). The City of Lincolnton has a slightly higher tax rate but does not use fees of this type. All street services are provided out of our property tax payments. It is important for our citizens to have a full understanding of the budget and not be misled by the inaccurate facts and falsehoods spread about during this misleading political season.
David L. Pyant
Lt. Col., USAF, Ret.

Fixing city starts with fixing City Council
The only people on City Council who have been trying to protect my rights for the past year are Mayor John Gilleland and Devin Rhyne. They keep trying to lower taxes, they keep trying to control out-of-control spending, they keep trying to fight for accountability, but that same majority on the City Council that has been spending our hard earned money for the last 20 years votes down everything they try to accomplish.
I listened to the explanation about the deal that was being made with the county. We would sell them water and lock in prices for other services that were going to go up anyway. Sounds like a good idea to me. All of this was done after a study paid for by the city that everyone involved fully agreed was correct. If we can sell water to the County for $1-$1.25, why didn’t we immediately jump on it? Stop wasting tax dollars with more negotiations and more studies while alienating the county more than you already have. We need to have a relationship with the county that works mutually for the city and the county and we need to get rid of the “we versus them” attitude; we all are County residents for heaven sake.
We really need to take a better look at what has been going on in the city for the past couple of years.
You know we would have more new companies and more jobs in this city if the City Council would get off it’s “business as usual” attitude — lower taxes and make decisions that were the best for their constituents (us!) and not for them!
Jay Thomas, the candidate running for election, stated that the city should run like a business. Amen to that idea. Throw out the old politics and run this city like a business. It could bring taxes down and bring businesses and jobs here to increase our tax base rather than our tax rate. Then our kids could stay in Lincolnton instead of having to look to other counties for work.
Come on City Council — start fixing what’s wrong — and it should start with you.
Ronald C. Braithwaite, Jr.

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