"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
I'd like you to imagine something…
Picture a place where the local budget doesn't automatically increase.
It actually goes down 3.1%.
"Well," you might say, "they'll just make that up by raising fees."
Nope…Water, sewer, storm water, and other operational fees all remain flat.
"Oh, that poor town. They can't fix anything, can't hire anyone, can't build anything new."
Well, actually, they're building a new fire station and their improving their Town Hall.
So, where does this Utopia exist?
"Fantasy Island," right?
Nope, it's just beyond Charlotte's border – Harrisburg, North Carolina.
Elected officials passed a $22.1 million budget for 2014…a budget that keeps their tax rate at a mere 2.7%.
Oh, Harrisburg – small town, small budget – apples and oranges compared to mighty Charlotte-Meck.
Well, in a way, you're right.
But keep in mind that while their budget may be a fraction of the Queen City's, so is their tax base.
They simply decided to make do with what they could afford…worked together to cut waste and to be more efficient…and they chose not to raise taxes, even when everyone else does.
Thank you, Harrisburg. You're a shining example of fiscal responsibility.
We hope Charlotte-Mecklenburg council and commissioners are paying attention.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.