Editorial Nov. 6, 2013

Voters were wise to approve the renewal of the Capital Facilities Tax in Tuesday’s special election.

The tax will support a wide range of infrastructure projects throughout the county and provide a fairly steady source of revenue during a period of slow economic growth.

There were efforts by local residents to convince their neighbors otherwise.

Ads were published in this newspaper advocating for the move to a 5 percent sales tax rather than the 6 percent we got.

Some arguments were against taxes in general. Others were disappointed in the reprioritizing of projects on a regular basis and still others voiced concerns about many of the “nice to have” projects listed on what elected officials have called a “need to have” tax.

For example, some citizens didn’t think the money should be used for new infrastructure in recently annexed areas of the city when so many areas that have long been within city limits need to be maintained and upgraded.

While letter writers against the tax were fairly scarce, some conversations around town were buzzing with discontent.

Yet, the voters who showed up to the polls voted overwhelmingly in favor of renewing the tax. At least as overwhelmingly as an election with just over 5,000 voters can be.

The margin was 1,785 votes, or about 6 percent of the county’s entire population. It is about 12 percent of total registered voters.

Those in favor of renewing the tax stressed its importance to the local economy. Agree with all of the projects or not, they said, but this tax meant revenue and it meant jobs.

Without the cap tax, fewer infrastructure projects would begin so fewer construction contractors would be needed to complete them.

Also, infrastructure what would draw in new businesses and help grow the local economy would not be completed without the tax.

So while voter turnout was abysmal, a sadly typical occurrence for special elections, voters once again proved that decisions are made by those who show up.

 


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