Levy petitions make sense

Published 10:10 am Wednesday, February 18, 2009

County leaders have the chance to send a message: Make sure you are sure before you ask the taxpayers for more money.

That is what the Lawrence County Commissioners can implement if they approve a proposal by Doug Malone that would require groups seeking to put a tax levy on the ballot to get petitions signed with a designated percentage of voters.

This could go a long way toward educating some in the community about what they could be asked to vote on, give levy supporters an idea whether or not something would pass and also potentially save taxpayers money because it could prevent some levies from ever making the ballot.

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Several years ago, county voters were asked to support a variety of levies and issues. Almost all were defeated soundly as voters simply said “no” right down the list, even voting not to reduce the Ironton mayor’s salary.

We support this plan by the commissioners and hope to see it passed unanimously.

Officeholders and agencies seeking levies must realize that the people of Lawrence County have sent a clear message that they don’t want to pay more taxes.

So if we are going to ask them to do so, we must make certain that it is only in the most extreme of cases and that all other avenues have been exhausted.

Voters don’t take spending more of their hard earned dollars lightly. It only makes sense that the county commission puts the requests for those dollars under that same level of scrutiny.