Commissioners have trouble talking taxes at public hearing

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Updated: 8/28/2012 2:11 am
County Commissioners faced a packed house at the public tax rate hearing Monday morning, and 26 speakers meant there was shortage of opinions.

"So, if we give you this tax increase, or if you all vote for it, I don't see it coming back because this year would have been the year to actually decrease taxes because we had $1.8 million more," said attorney Dwight McDonald.

"I do think that we need to be prepared to take care of our people if anything should happen," said Samantha Crestman. "So if we've exhausted all other resources, and this is necessary, then i will support it."

However, one issue just won't seem to go away. It's been a week since County Judge Tom Head's infamous challenge to the Obama Administration and the United Nations, and not only is it still festering, it has affected the way some are looking at the increase.

"I cannot, in good conscience, vote for the tax increase now that Judge Head has said that he is planning for a revolt against the American government," said Yolanda Guerrero.

"Until I know the sense of the other commissioners about how this money is going to be spent," Louise Sanders said, "I can't support the tax increase."

Commissioner Patti Jones said skepticism of the government played a big role in the discussion.

"We had some distractions that pulled completely away from the direction that we were headed," Jones said, "and so therefore, I do think that a little bit of the trust of Lubbock County has been tested through all of this. But I can assure you that what we intend to do with this money is what we started out in the beginning."

The distractions caused by people who wanted to talk topics other than taxes made it difficult to get a count of who was for or against the increase. Jones said they are just focusing on staying on track until they vote on the proposed rate Sept. 12.
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