The governments of Martin County are beginning their budget processes for the upcoming fiscal year.

As they begin to put together their operating, capital improvement plan, and enterprise fund budgets, the public will see that there will be increases in various taxes and fees.  It is a bit early to tell where and how these increases will manifest themselves. Given the state of the various governments finances and the services they will need to provide, it is hard not to believe that taxes will be higher in the coming year.

The Martin County Taxpayers Association has begun analyzing and gathering information regarding the upcoming budget year for the various governments of the County. It is important that the individual taxpayer understands why increases will be proposed and whether they are justified. The Taxpayers Association can analyze the numbers, but it isn’t always easy to know whether a proposed project is necessary. Further, many times, we do not have the expertise to know whether a less expensive alternative exists.

That is why having more citizen volunteers that can delve into the minutia of a subject is necessary.  For example, if you currently or in a former life worked for a road construction company, perhaps you could look at a proposed road improvement and help us point out a less expensive alternative. As in the private sector, government needs to evolve and improve the way it provides services to their clients, the taxpayers.

The Martin County Taxpayers Association is a volunteer organization that can only be as good as the members willing to help in this work. While we have a dedicated board, the association can always use more help in our legislative, observation and membership committees.

Each resident and citizen is a consumer of government services. Some may take advantage of one service more than other residents (e.g., the library system).  If that library user thinks there is a way to provide all or part of the library services in a more cost-effective way, we would welcome an opportunity to partner with him/her to help determine where potential savings or efficiencies exist. If need be, we could show an interested volunteer where in the budget that item is listed. Our organization is an entirely volunteer group, so our strength comes from having a diversity of expertise and a willingness to use that expertise for the benefit of all taxpayers.

This organization believes that we are a partner with elected officials and their staffs to help provide better government for as low a cost as possible. We are not an anti-tax organization but rather a smart tax organization. Every dollar collected from the taxpayers should be used to buy the best level of service. This is what the citizens of the County deserve.