Revenue-sharing funds could be put to better use

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In a county where conservative values dominate, it is a wonder why the Placer Board of Supervisors continue to buck these values. Every year at budget time they approve $100,000 for non-essential expenditures under the euphemism of revenue sharing. These taxpayer funds are budgeted for and dolled out by each supervisor ($20,000 each) to charitable and other worthy causes and community events during the year. These funds could be better put to truly essential services such as filling potholes or other health and safety measures. How do we shrink the reach of government with this mindset? Not to argue the merits of the causes supported by each supervisor, but revenue sharing has become institutionalized as special interests can reasonably expect to receive annual support for their causes – hmm, sounds like an entitlement program. Not to argue the good intentions of the supervisors, but doesn’t this doling out of tax revenues to special interests help get the same incumbents re-elected? Why are taxpayers involuntarily paying this? How about killing two problems with one measure - we eliminate the program and increase each supervisor’s salary the same $20,000 so they can personally give their own funds to each cause each year. Besides, they could probably get $6,000 each in tax credits for their share of these charitable contributions (a benefit that is currently lost). Really, what kind of message are the supervisors sending taxpayers and laid-off county staff when they continue to budget for non-essential expenditures? Eliminate revenue sharing and turn the applicants back to the communities and individual benefactors where the support should and will rightly emanate. Jim Bennett, Auburn