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     A revenue-neutral tax rate is a priority for Cumberland County Commissioners, along with safe water and public safety for our citizens.
     At our retreat on March 2nd, the Commissioners were unanimous in their request to the County Manager to provide for us a revenue-neutral tax rate. The tax rate and the revenue it will generate must be weighed against the responsibilities of county government to provide for schools, libraries, law enforcement and other imperatives. Please keep in mind that a revenue-neutral tax rate will allow for the taxes of the County residents to be reduced from the present 86 cent rate.  Be assured that the Commissioners will deliberate carefully before establishing the tax rate for the coming fiscal year.
     Jeannette Council
     Chair, Cumberland County Board of Commissioners 

     {mosimage}First of all let me be clear-it is premature to talk about taxes atthis point. We do not even know our revenue stream. Once we get a clear picture of where we are then this question can be addressed. NO COMMISSIONER wants to raise taxes,but to tell people that we know where we are heading would not be truthful. The picture is too murky for us to say.
     Breeden Blackwell

     I favor a revenue-neutral tax rate.  County Commissioners have made this one of their three priorities.
 
     I will encourage the Fayetteville City Council to do the same.
      Marshall Faircloth

     The County Commissioners have instructed the County Manager to bring us a budget that represents a revenue-neutral tax rate. Personally I plan to support a revenue-neutral tax rate just as I did during the last re-evaluation when the commissioners reduced the tax rate 4 1/2 cents.
     The County Manager has sent a memo to all agencies requesting funding from Cumberland County. He has asked all county departments to reduce spending by  eleminating non-essential travel, training and other discretionary expenses in the current fiscal year. For FY 2010, basic operating expenditures for County Departments are being reduced. The 2010 budget will call for no salary increases (COLAs), no new positions or new capital expenditures. Personally, my hope is that we can keep all current employees working and keep their benefits. Our employees do a tremendous job and work very hard, but we have to make difficult decisions in difficult times. Since our budget is based on more than property taxes, I can,t be more specific since the budget has not beenpresented.
     Thanks!
     Kenneth Edge
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