Florence State Rep. Phillip Lowe isn't afraid to speak his mind.
In a recent op-ed in the Florence Morning News, Lowe took the Florence County Council to task for raising taxes while attempting to blame legislators:
Local government is funded primarily by property taxes. Have your property taxes declined during the recession? Of course not and nor has the county budget. From 2006 to 2008 the Florence County budget increased by 56 percent from 32 to 51 million.
The recession forced state legislators to make tough decisions just like your family did. Most state agencies suffered 40 percent cuts from the general fund. Since 2000, the number of full time state employees was reduced by 23 percent while Florence County increased by 17 percent.Was it really necessary for county council to raise taxes? There is no way I would have voted for a tax increase, especially in the most difficult economic times of my life. All but one councilman voted for or praised the tax increase. I am proud of Roger Poston for voting against it.
Poston, the sole council member who voted against the tax hike, is up for re-election. Kent Caudle is seeking an open seat and will be a reliable fiscal conservative. There is one other open seat and one incumbent seeking re-election who voted for the tax increase.
Florence voters should keep Lowe's words in mind when they vote in November.