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When I first moved to Campbellsville in 1980, and during the next three decades, the city of Campbellsville had some of the most reasonable gasoline prices one could find in Kentucky. Compared to the national average price, our gas was always at least 15 to 20 cents per gallon cheaper. What has happened in the last couple of years?
Now, we have some of the most expensive gasoline prices in Kentucky, and in this region of the country. On several occasions recently, our gasoline prices have even exceeded the national average price per gallon.
On a recent trip to Texas, for the first time in all these years, I witnessed cheaper gas prices everywhere I went. Has a new generation of local suppliers suddenly become greedy? Perhaps our newly increased local tax rates have had some effect. Whatever the reason, something needs to change. We need answers!
Recently I heard a CEO of one of the big oil companies testify to Congress that there was no reason why gasoline prices need to exceed $2 per gallon. He said that everyone could make a profit at this price. This is a national scandal! How much better would our economy be if we had significantly lower gas prices? And why is this problem even greater in our community?
I would like to also condemn the actions of our county magistrates and city council members for greatly increasing local taxes at a time when we are experiencing one of the worst economic downturns ever.
First, the magistrates decided to stop sharing tax revenues with the city, resulting in a hefty increase in county tax funds.
Then the city instituted a new 1-percent payroll tax when a small fraction of that amount would have replaced the tax funds lost as a result of the county’s actions.
As a county resident I have no vote in city elections, so in a way, I am being taxed without the option to vote (taxation without representation). This was an issue in our American Revolution.
Many of our citizens are struggling more than ever before just to survive during this double-dip recession while our Taylor County magistrates and Campbellsville City Council members demonstrate their lack of concern by greatly increasing local taxes. Just like our national House and Senate representatives are blaming each other for the problems in our nation, our local officials are acting the same way on a number of issues.
All of this hurts us all. Unless things change for the better, we will all continue to suffer and our community will pay the price in untold ways.
I urge everyone to see what they can do to cut expenditures and cut taxes at this crucial time in our country and in our community, and work together to make this community continue to be a great place to call home.
Dr. Mark Bradley