It’s that time of year when people want to talk taxes. Property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, inheritance taxes, gasoline taxes... Trust us, they are being discussed.
Most of the discussion stems from this being the time of year when local governments hold budget workshops, followed by the required budget hearings.
And while a lot of people are talking taxes and how much they are paying, few are talking to the people whose job it is to listen to the taxpayer.
Not counting the media, one citizen was in the audience at the City of West Point’s budget hearing, and one was in the audience for its budget workshop. One person, albeit a county employee, was at the Cuming County budget hearing.
No one was present for the West Point Public Schools’ two-hour budget workshop, at which a great deal of budget information was shared.
That seems to be the norm here. People talk taxes, but they rarely talk to the people who help collect them. We rarely miss a local government meeting, and we can tell you that the local boards welcome citizens at those budget hearings. But the Maytag repairman has nothing on them when it comes to feeling lonely.
By this time next week, we hope to have enough of the information we need to present some comparative data on local taxes that we think local taxpayers will find interesting. The bottom line is, we really don’t have it too bad here in Cuming County. Owners of agricultural land have a legitimate argument to that statement, and we’ve joined them in advocating for a change in tax law to take some of the tax burden off their back. Something has to change there, and soon.
Speaking of good times to speak up, Tax Modernization Committee, has released the agenda for the public hearings to be held by the Committee during September and October (See page 3A for more details).
Anyway, one of the meetings will be held Thursday, Sept. 26, at Northeast Nebraska Community College’s Lifelong Learning Center, Norfolk, 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.