Friday, June 22, 2007

Wilkes Co. Pulls a Fast One With Lottery Money

Proceeds from the Guv's notorious "education lottery" are supposed to go to N.C. counties as bonus money for education, but Wilkes County commissioners are using the money to give their citizens a 1-cent tax reduction.

Needless to say, this is not what The Guv had in mind.

Wilkes has a 4-1 Republican majority on its board of commissioners. The vote to rob the lottery money for a tax reduction was 3-2, with one of the Republicans breaking off to vote with the sole Democrat against the scheme. The Republican defector, Charlie Sink, said the budget the other three commissioners approved was "short-sighted." "If we bow down to political pressure ... we're backing up," Sink told the W-S Journal.

Indeed, that great big old 1-cent tax reduction will mean a total of some $10 a year on a $100,000 property. For that kind of empty symbology, the Republican majority is willing to short-change local education.

Reminds us of the tax cute we got in Watauga County during the last Republican domination of the County Commission. For that empty gesture, both the Sheriff's department and the schools were made to suffer. But ultimately, the commissioners who passed it were made to suffer too.

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