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June 15, 2011

Attention Darke County Commissioners:

A footnote to the Darke County Commissioner’s meeting today, Wednesday June 15, 2011 at 1:30 P.M. in the Commissioner’s Conference Room.

My personal assessment of the hour and a half discussion regarding the “Real Property Transfer Tax” --aka Conveyance Fees -- was that virtually all present considered an aggressive Economic Development effort was vital to the growth and financial well being of Darke County. It also seemed that all present with the exception of the Economic Development Director and the members of the Community Improvement Council (CIC) opposed the option of increased funding for the Economic Development effort via an increase in the current permissive conveyance fee from one dollar ($1) to two dollars ($2).

If the preceding assessment is correct, then the focus should be on a different source of money versus increasing a virtually unknown hidden fee/tax. Suggestions that might be considered as a better source of funds than more taxes are listed below and should be considered possibilities that can be modified or used to develop better procedures/programs.

1.       Increase the Partners in Progress membership to fifty (50) from the current thirty five (35) and request a yearly donation of $3,000.00. (Note... this was corrected by Marc Saluk: “Just a quick note: the number of investors is currently more than 50 (as opposed to 35) and new members are coming aboard monthly.”

2.       Have the County Commissioners revise the mandatory fee from accruing to the general operating fund to the CIC.

3.       Give the people of Darke County an opportunity to contribute to the CIC, a 501 (c )(4) nonprofit organization, with the funds donated specifically designated for the Economic Development effort.

4.       Have the CIC conduct a formal raffle dedicated to the Economic Development effort.

Based on the level of personnel that make up the  CIC, I would hope that a better suggestion than the four listed could/would be selected. The consistent theme in the four suggestions should be retained --- NO NEW TAXES/FEES.

Al Bliss

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