In any event, the down trend of the county’s cash reserves is supported by all of the data. This is an important election issue because it goes to philosophy.
Prior to 2003, the cash reserves showed an upward trend. But, since 2003, the cash reserves show a downward trend, even though currently, the taxable value (on which property tax is collected) is more than twice what it was prior to 2003. Cash reserves today are back where they were in 1996. Trends over a period of time tell a story, a philosophical story. I’ll share two.
Story One: Mr. Ant spent his summer days gathering food. What he didn’t need to get him through the day, he stored away in his little pantry. His philosophy was to use what he needed and save any extra. When the cold weather came and food was scarce, Mr. Ant would have food in his pantry. That gave him great comfort.
Mr. Grasshopper enjoyed the bounties of warm summer days. His philosophy was to eat everything he wanted and then some. He’d worry about tomorrow another day.
Story Two: Once there were three young men: Tom, Dick, and Harry. Each had been gifted $1,000. Each had a philosophy.
Tom put his $1,000 in the bank at the best interest he could get and lived on the money he earned from his job. Over time, Tom watched the interest turn his $1,000 into $2,000 and more and more. He smiled. Tom’s philosophy was not to spend more than he earned and let his savings grow. This money would be available for future financial challenges that always come. This upward trend of cash gave Tom great comfort.
Dick put his $1,000 in the bank at the best interest he could get. Most of the time, he lived on the money he earned at his job; but often he withdrew the interest earned on the money because there were a few things he wanted. But, Dick’s philosophy was to never spend the $1,000. He only allowed the spending of the earned interest and always had the $1,000.
Now Harry, he also put his $1,000 in the bank at the best interest he could find. He lived on the money he earned at his job. Over time, Harry watched his savings grow. However, Harry died unexpectedly. Harry, Jr. inherited the savings which had grown significantly. Harry Jr. did not share his father’s financial philosophy. Harry Jr. did not like living only on the money he earned at his job; he began to spend the money in the savings account. Each time he dipped into the account, he spent the interest and then some. Soon the savings account was shrinking, trending down.
Harry Jr.’s philosophy was to spend more than he earned and worry about tomorrow another day.
SO, prior to 2003, the philosophy of the county commissioners was that of Mr. Ant and Tom. The county did not spend more than it brought in and allowed the cash reserves to grow. They wanted the county to be prepared for the financial challenges which always come. This gave them great comfort.
Since 2003, the philosophy of the county commissioners has been more that of Mr. Grasshopper and Harry Jr. In spite of more money coming to the county from increasing property values and holding to a high tax rate, the cash reserves are trending down because of over spending. Folks should take another look at the graphs I obtained from the county that I published in my ad last week and in my campaign flyers. These pictures speak 1,000 words.
Yup, it’s a matter of philosophy.
(By the way, I support the philosophies of Mr. Ant and Tom.)