I oppose Elkhart County’s proposed local option income tax for four reasons. The first and most important is because it seems incredibly wrong that the county wants every taxpayer, every family, to reduce their income by 1 percent while at the same time commissioners are wanting to give county government employees a pay raise.
The second reason I oppose the new tax is that raising taxes and taking money from taxpayer reduces purchasing power of the consumer, hurts the economy and delays our recovery.
My third reason is that our commissioners have decided to hire a lobbying firm to help them get this new tax approved. I find it humorous that they point to a time in Elkhart County’s history when a lobbyist was hired to help secure special funding to build our current county jail. This jail is oversized and much of it sits empty and unused. Yet taxpayers must give a portion of their weekly paycheck now, and for many years to come, to pay for it.
Lastly, the commissioners and other office holders often blame the tax caps for lower tax receipts. The tax caps are doing exactly what they should be doing, preventing government from raising taxes instead of living within their means. The tax receipts are lower because the value of homes and other real estate has gone down during the recession. The people of Elkhart County have been hit hard and have had to do with less. But government says, “Not us. We want what we always had and we will raise taxes to get it.” When jobs and income return to their previous levels in our area, house values will return and tax receipts will rise.
The families of Elkhart County need the money much worse than county government does.
Indiana Rep. Wes Culver