Page County Board of Supervisors took the next step Tuesday in the fiscal year 2022 budget process.
During the Page County Board of Supervisors meeting Feb. 16 a public hearing was held for maximum proposed tax dollars. Supervisors approved a resolution with a 2-to-1 vote for exceeding property tax dollars from the last fiscal year. Supervisor Jacob Holmes cast the sole opposition vote reading a statement before voting.
“As a new supervisor, I have worked hard to understand the inner workings of Page County Government, particularly the budget,” said Holmes. “ I think it is equally important for taxpayers to know why their property tax is the amount it is, and why it goes up year after year. With that in mind, I believe the County government needs money to operate, but that there should be a limit to how much money is needed and that the money must be spent wisely and in areas of need.”
Holmes agreed county employees deserve an increase but questions if a 4% across-the-board increase is appropriate.
“Page County employees are valuable and respected, and not only do they receive a respectable pay, but an attractive benefit package that includes insurance and retirement through IPERS,” said Holmes. “County employee jobs were never in jeopardy through the unprecedented year-long struggle with COVID-19. I tried to lead by example and forgo a raise, but my motion was voted down. While employees may deserve an increase, the question is whether, when citizens have lost jobs and businesses, is a 4% across-the-board increase appropriate. In comparison the cost of living increase to Social Security benefits is set at 1.3% for 2021. In light of this and in consideration of taxpayers, I think a lesser percentage is more appropriate, therefore, I vote ‘no’ on the budget and on the resolution for exceeding the previous year’s property taxes.”
The full statement from Holmes is included with this story online at valleynewstoday.com.
The supervisors set the fiscal year 2022 budget public hearing at 6:15 p.m., March 9.