Imagine a couple named Thomas and Elizabeth. The two married shortly after graduating from high school and within a few years had two young children. They also have an old car which is always breaking down at the most inopportune times. Thomas works hard at a plant located 15 miles from their apartment, making $10.87 an hour. By working as much overtime as he could get and not taking a vacation, he made $29,400 last year. Medicaid for the kids and food stamps for the family help, but it is still tough to pay the rent and all the other bills. Gas has doubled over the last few years and food prices are up.
He would like to buy a later model car, one with better gas mileage, but he can’t seem to save enough after all the bills are paid. Elizabeth has told Thomas that his FICA tax is likely to go back up 2 percent next year, which would mean $587 less to spend that year. Thomas realizes that $587 is more than he makes working all week. Now he has learned that there is a referendum on Nov. 6 to raise the county sales tax from 6 percent to 7 percent, and the county estimates that he will pay an additional $250 in sales tax each year if this passes. Thomas knows that this could take over half a week’s pay out of his pocket.
It just doesn’t seem fair to Thomas and Elizabeth that they will have to pay such a large proportion of their income in new taxes while they are struggling so hard to make ends meet. And you know what? I don’t think that it is fair either, to make all the Thomases and Elizabeths in Georgetown County pay such a large amount of their income for more ball fields and bigger libraries.
Vote no on the sales tax increase on Nov. 6 and give the working poor in Georgetown County a break that they have earned.
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The writer lives in Georgetown.