Wednesday, November 27, 2013
We Won….. We Lost
The votes have been tallied and the local option sales tax referendum has been defeated.
However, any gloating on the notion that “we won” as opined by the Chairman of the Dorchester County Taxpayers Association (DCTA) clearly identifies how disconnected from reality this group is. In truth, we lost.
For starters, I am proud to wear the Realtor insignia pin on my coat lapel, as a constant reminder of the high standards of business and code of ethics that we are held to. I have been a Realtor for almost 30 years, and my father, Sherwood Miler, was one for over 35 years. I cannot count the number of retired military officers and enlisted personnel, from all the respective service branches, who have joined the ranks of Realtors over the years upon their retirement from military service. Added to this membership list is the countless number of bankers, attorneys, appraisers, insurance executives, teachers, housewives and other esteemed business personnel who are also proud members of the fraternity of Realtors. Together, we blend our skills and talents into one of the most respected, educated, generous, dedicated, and involved business arms of the community.
But, there is not now, or ever has been a “REALTOR PARTY.” And to insinuate that we desire to have a “precious tax increase” is not only laughable, but almost void of thought. I am sure that I am speaking for many when I say that every penny in our family budget is not only “precious,” but also hard earned and necessary in order to satisfy the financial demands of everyday life and its expenses. And to suggest the idea that support for the local option sales tax was an attempt to redistribute tax dollars away from the poor and middle class is simply ludicrous! Good Lord…I am the middle class…and I want some relief!!
According to the annual records of the multiple listing service (MLS) for Dorchester County, in 2012 there were a total of 1,867 houses sold (including single family and multi family) for an average sale price of $179,661.00. Based on one true example, a home that sold in Quail Arbor V on Glendale Court for $182,400 assessed at 4% paid an annual property tax of $1012.50. If the LOST had been in affect, this homeowner would have saved appox. $425.00 on his property taxes. Is this the rich getting richer? Is this redistributing wealth away from the poor? And based on this one example, this poor owner would have had to spend about $40,000.00 in goods, food and services in Dorchester County in one year to break even. Ain’t going to happen!
I had the pleasure to serve on the Dorchester County Penny Sales Tax Authority where over $125,000,000 was raised to address the horrible and often unsafe conditions of our roads. It was a county-wide effort. And yes we had to raise the sales tax by one cent (a penny) Did Mr. Braund consider this the same precious tax increase “pipe dream” to redistribute dollars from the poor? Was it a crushing blow to the middle class? Are you kidding??!!
In closing, for Mr. Braund finishes his letter with the words “…visionary foolishness that leads to sprawl, inefficiency and fraud…” is totally reckless, shallow, and divisive. How he expects any uniting of opposing bodies on issues of importance to this county and its future after penning such a divisive letter is slim….but not impossible. For with God’s help, and in His perfect timing, all things are possible!
And yes, we are having our annual Realtor Party in December at the beach and racquet club; $50 per member, spouses and quests are invited. It’s a lot of fun, and one of the best ideas since Adam! Maybe Mr. Braund would like to come!!??
Richard L Miler
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