Tax Hike on Table

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Lauderdale County board of supervisors president Joe Norwood said Thursday it appears the county has no choice but to raise taxes.

"The numbers that I have been given to work with... there was a 1.1 percent growth in Lauderdale County," said Norwood. "That's the equivalent of $250,000 in revenue that we have to come in. We have expenditures of $2.5 million that's mandatory that has to be funded this year."

District 5 supervisor Ray Boswell said a tax increase will not get his vote.

"I'm not voting for a tax increase this year. I think the board has spent a lot of money unwisely and I think they could have gotten by without a tax increase," Boswell said. "And I'm not voting for a tax increase this year, even if I give up the raise that was given us by the legislators."

Norwood said Boswell is playing politics.

"He gets a free ride because he votes against the things that he knows the board really has to do to move this community forward. He gets the free ride and he comes out looking like the little angel over here when we have to stand up and make the tough decisions and take all the heat from the public and have him come back and accuse us of recklessly spending the taxpayers money. Now that's who Mr. Boswell is," said Norwood.

Boswell said part of the county's unnecessary expense is travel by the supervisors. It's something he says he hasn't done during his four terms.

"And if you'll check my expenses for all of those right at 16 years, you'll see that there's not over one, maybe three, expense vouchers in all those years that I did it," said Boswell.

The final vote on the budget has not been made. The board resumes work on it next Friday.