The Union Recorder

January 29, 2014

NEELY: Unpaid taxes — why put it out in the public?

The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — Delinquent taxes are a personal matter. Also a personal matter is whether one elects to be honest about such a delinquency. The illogical part of the argument comes when a delinquent official attempts to shift the argument to another issue, such as unification. Worse is the attempt to argue that there is no clear definition of terms in the oath of office documents. Unification is indeed an issue, but not in this case. Meanings of ordinances may be changed to hide truth. The issue is unpaid taxes ... nothing more.

A delinquency is a personal matter. It is unfortunate that those who rise to defend elected officials miss the point. Every citizen’s taxes are personal. And we all have to pay our taxes or face consequences. This is a personal matter. The point is that commissioners of this county are spending tax monies that they have not paid. They have “no skin in the game,” they have not “paid to play,” they are getting a free ride. Commissioners French and Davis should recuse themselves from voting on any spending issue until they have paid their taxes. When elected officials are delinquent, their personal matter becomes a public matter and when the unpaid officials vote to spend our paid taxes, it is very much our business.

There is the argument that the county does not have an ethics ordinance. Why not? As long as the commission allows this issue to languish, it will continue to surface. The commission cannot enforce unpaid taxes among its members because it doesn’t have an ordinance? We elected our commissioners to run our county business ethically. The first order of an ethical administration should be to pass an ethics ordinance. What are you waiting for?

William Neely