Editor: The Chamber of Commerce’s Tony Howard would have us believe that we need more commercial development. While a commercial building does pay more in taxes than it requires in county services, that’s just a very small slice of a large economic pie that he overlooks.
A new office building the size of the County Government Center would pay about $200,000 in property taxes and house some 500 workers. Assume that half those workers—250—live in the county in “average” houses which pay roughly $6,000 in annual property taxes each, or $1,500,000 total. But, using county statistics, those 250 new residents would have 1.75 children, with a cost of $25,000 per child just for schools. The cost to taxpayers? $11 million.
I will even simplify this for Mr. Howard: $11,000,000 in new costs is a lot worse than the $200,000 the building pays plus the $1,500,000 in new revenue from the houses. Stop new development and help businesses that are already here.
Charles Houston, Paeonian Springs