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Budget work session
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Dear Editor: During the Nov. 20 BOC Work Session, it became painfully clear that tax payers are being sucked dry of what little survival potential that they may have been fortunate enough to accumulate. Some 30 community based organizations who do outstanding community services but are not a unit of County Government pleaded for additional County tax money to support their cause.

Lost was an awareness that the funds being requested are tax dollars, the donation of which can not be used as tax deductible. Further, there was no accountability, except verbal declarations, as to how much was spent in the last cycle and the additional amount needed in the new cycle. Only one organization acknowledged the need for a proposed reduction and thanked the BOC for their recommended reduced appropriation.

Mentioned but lost in the discussions were the huge tax revenue surrendered by the county to churches and yet uniquely collected through increased tax liability to property owners. This represents one huge liability that is not detectable or deductible to taxpayers.

If we are all in this together, then let us all share the liability with equality. Is the arbitrary gift of tax funds by a government to any non-government agency the same as theft by taking? Is the distribution of tax funds without accountability codified in law? When is a comment by a representative of government in determining assignment of funds a case of "conflict of interest"? Which commissioner(s) will step to the plate to protect the interest of all citizens first?

Lewis Belcher
Rockdale County