It’s rare for a candidate to be in a position to do a public service. But Mike James has done just that, so we salute him. James, who is running for District 4 Supervisor, revealed himself as someone who has plans to raise your taxes. We commend him for letting people know that. After all, voters have the right to know the plans of the people who are asking for the job.
In a recent Facebook Q&A, he wrote that he supports Sheriff Alex Hodge and that he has a plan to “prioritize spending.” Then he included this nugget — that it “requires 3 votes.”
Here’s the backstory, in case you haven’t been watching the game: The worst-kept secret in Jones County politics is the one about Hodge supporting at least three supervisor candidates who, if elected, would give him a 3-2 majority on the Board of Supervisors. That would give him the $9 million budget that he asked for this fiscal year. He’d have a blank check.
What would that mean for you?
Well, if you think your property taxes went way up this year, put Hodge and his disciples in office, and those numbers will just about double.
Don’t take our word for it. Just listen to the county’s longtime Chief Financial Officer Charles Miller. He’s a numbers guy, not a politician, who has served under multiple boards over the years. He said it would take a tax increase of 10 mills to give the sheriff what he asked for. Supervisors can raise taxes by only 3.5 mills without residents voting for a referendum, according to law. A mill represents about $470,000.
“We couldn’t come close to giving him what’s being requested,” Miller said at the time.
Hodge has hinted at and outright accused supervisors of mismanaging their budgets, saying the money is there — it’s just a matter of priorities. But he hasn’t been specific. He just lobs hints and innuendoes, trying to cast suspicion over the current crop of supervisors, in hopes of moving them out and moving his crew in.
We have a good idea who his candidates are, but we don’t want to pin the label “tax-and-spend candidate” on anyone without confirmation. Thankfully, Mr. James did that for the voting public. So now you know and can make an informed decision.