Levy measure is right move

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Voters have said they don’t want to pay more taxes and now the Lawrence County Commissioners have essentially said they will help honor those wishes by making it more difficult to place tax levies on the ballot.

Last week, the commissioners unanimously approved a motion originally proposed by Doug Malone that will require any group or government agency seeking to place a property tax levy on the ballot to first circulate petitions and garner a significant percentage of signatures.

We applaud the commissioners for making this official and taking this step to essentially protect the taxpayers’ pocketbooks.

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Although this doesn’t mean that levies won’t make it to the ballot, it will help educate voters and also give those supporting any levy a good litmus test as to how voters feel about the proposition.

And based on past results, the odds are that this will deter some supporters from wasting taxpayer dollars by inflating a ballot, which potentially costs the county thousands of dollars in paper printing.

From school bond levies that narrowly pass to stadium levies or income tax increases that go down in flames every time, Lawrence County voters have sent a clear message in recent years that they are overtaxed and don’t feel that they should have to open their wallets every time government faces an economic challenge.

Voters have clearly thought twice about approving more taxes. Now those asking for more need to truly do the same.