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Chatham tax survey was unscientific

By Rita Marley-McKenzie
Posted Friday, March 12, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - I too felt the Chatham tax survey was unscientific with its pre-question "narrative" post on the chatlist and leading questions. It would have been much improved with a neutral party creating the questions in an unbiased way. There really was no way to quantify the data collected.

For example, who is to say what "sacrifices" I am making versus the "sacrifices" my neighbor is making? What bearing does that have on government spending? When the economy is in a slump, that is the time that more government services are utilized by its citizens, increasing the burden on government spending. It stands to reason that the government will need to spend more money during these hard economic times in order to support the citizens until they can get back on their feet. This survey makes it sound as if it is a bad thing when it is not.

As for stimulus money, I can tell you that twenty-five low-income Chatham County youth (including foster children, youth in families where parents were out of work, youth in single parent households, and youth in families where a grandparent had adopted them) were given summer jobs and placed in non-profit, educational and governmental agencies to help improve their economic situation, learn important work ethics and job skills, and gain a work history. Through this program, these youth were able to help their families pay monthly living expenses and also purchase their own school supplies and clothing and other important basic needs. These were our stimulus dollars at work right here in our own community. Not only were these youth given a hand up, the community benefited from the jobs they performed at no cost to our county.

We all want what is best for our community and may have differing opinions on how our community may best be served. The nature of this survey has only exacerbated an already smoldering fire with our citizens drawing even deeper lines in the sand. Let's not let those lines become trenches.

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