Salem Abraham gave county commissioners plenty to think about Monday morning, when he asked them to consider investing tax dollars in the long-range future of Hemphill County, rather than on short-term smaller projects like the gymnastics center funding proposal before them, and to consider collecting an additional 10-cent tax, countywide, in order to zero out the city tax rate.
It was typical outside-the-box thinking on Abraham’s part, and seemed to leave the court nonplussed, especially because it landed in the middle of their budget and tax-rate planning season for the coming fiscal year.
Abraham questioned the wisdom of funding a $50,000 industrial development grant request for Shattuck-based All-Stars Gymnastics, Cheer and Dance—a request the court later approved—which he characterized as a “nickel and dime thing.” Instead, he suggested, the county should put its nickels and dimes together to make $10 bills, for projects that would equate to “planting trees for the next generation.”
In the same vein, he proposed that the county leverage its considerable tax base to save money for the city—and the 75 percent of county residents who live within the city. The county’s recently-certified values for fiscal 2017-18 are nearly $1.5 billion, compared to about $1.5 million in values for the city.
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