Residents of Franklin County expressed their opposition to a proposed tax increase Tuesday night, as the Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on the budget.
But along with the complaints, some showed support for a proposal that would raise an additional $ 1.8 million for schools and other county priorities.
The supervisors are considering increases in the real estate tax, personal property tax and vehicle license tax. Those increases are necessary, says County Administrator Rick Huff, because of mandated costs the local government cannot control.
Many taxpayers say they aren't convinced.
"The people in this county, and the state and the federal government are seeing tough times now," said Oscar Pagans. "We don't need to raise taxes at all. It needs to stay where it is. "
Many of the speakers voiced a common theme. At a time when many families, and seniors on fixed incomes are still hurting financially, the county shouldn't be considering higher taxes.
"And I think those of us in the county that aren't in that situation can take a lesson from them," said Holly Lipscomb. "It's not comfortable and it's not what we want to do, but sometimes it's what we have to do. "
But a plan that would include additional funding for county schools also found support at the hearing, with some speakers arguing in favor of the proposed tax increase.
"Better schools means more jobs and more revenue," said Tom Joyce.
"I will tell you that the investment that you make today will be a key to the future of the county<" added George Morrison.
The Supervisors heard from more than dozen people at the hearing, but their decision will wait. The board is scheduled to adopt a budget on April 22nd.