On May 22, the public hearing for the Indian Trail budget was held. A number of residents expressed their concerns.
During the council discussion of the budget, out of the blue, Christopher King suggested a 4-cent tax increase. He had no plan for the increase, just said that it was needed. This created some interesting comments from several council members. Finally, the mayor suggested that town manager Joe Fivas present options for the tax increase in the next council meeting.
So, on June 12, the council voted to approve the budget without holding another public hearing. The only way a resident could express their opinion on the tax increase was to sign up for public comments, which limits the speaker to 3 minutes. Interesting tactic.
Also in this June 12 meeting, Mr. Fivas presented a list of items that the 4-cent increase “could be used for” over the next 10 years. What I found interesting was there is no mention of adding law enforcement officers, which would benefit all town residents. The men and women of the Union County Sheriff’s Office who protect our town do a wonderful job. I think it is time that we expressed our appreciation for their service by providing additional officers and equipment each year for the next five years.
As for the tax increase without representation, I strongly encourage everyone who is opposed to the tax increase to email the council members expressing your discontent. According to Councilman Robert Allen, “we have 34,000 people in Indian Trail. So, I guess the happy people stayed home” from the June 12 council meeting recording in reference to the number of residents that spoke against the 4 cents, or 27.5 percent, tax increase.