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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Over-collection: Part I: The 5-8%

Each year for the past 35 to 40 years the County Administrator or the County Financial Officer has chosen an arbitrary percentage of 95 to 98% collectable so as to guarantee that the millage figure chosen yields enough revenue to pay the county bills. There are problems with this thinking. First and foremost is that the County always gets its money one way or the other. If a county citizen does not pay their bills, then they are fined for a period of time, and after so long a period of time, their property is sold, and the money for the taxes and fines goes to the County.

Let's look at how much money this amounts to:

Revenue from personal and property taxes= or > $26,000,000 X 3 %=$ 780,000 owed to the taxpayers for over-collection

$26,000,000 X 5%= $1,300,000 owed to the taxpayers for over-collection

Fines and sales $26,000,000 X 8%= $2,080,000 owed to the taxpayers for over-collection

These figures are estimated, but are very close to what has been happening on a yearly basis. It is not the right of either the Pickens County Council or the District School Board to keep this money for any purpose and should be put in a separate account by the Treasurer for credit or refund on a yearly basis.

The same is true about bond revenue. A huge amount of revenue is over-collected on County and School Board bonds. Where do you think all the extra "savings" are coming from? (This is where the money came from to modify A. R. Lewis) All this over-collecting is coming from accounting percentages and juggling of accounts. Everything that has been said above can be applied to the cities in the County. They all have slush funds that they call "savings". The spending and "savings" off these budget gaffs go up every year, and yet the elected politicians continue to say they haven't raised your taxes. The truth of the matter is that 95% to 98% of us have been paying the taxes of 3 to 5% or giving an extra amount to the county, school board, and municipalities.

There are other methods the politicos are using to over-collect the people's money such as the the protested amounts of taxes during reassessment. We'll cover this topic in the next article to be posted soon.

Junius Smith 
President of Conservatives of the Upstate

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