“in vino, veritas” | not always the case with facebook, though

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In the shadow of last night’s meeting, one might think the “truth in wine” credo is almost the same as the “true feelings” of people who take to facebook. Often, though, just as in a wine sloshed conversation, the truth is hard to find or understand.

HERE ARE SOME local “in facebook, veritas” — not necessarily objective — statements:

“Some of you may find interesting, the correlation between accelerating gentrification through the raising of property taxes. There is research that would suggest that the purposeful raising of property taxes forces lower income citizens to move elsewhere, thereby increasing the rate at which gentrification can occur. I can’t say one way or the other whether this is a plausible strategy, and more importantly, one being employed by council, but the more you know……”

“I was not at the meeting but my Brother was. As he told me the council would not even answer the public, it made me sick. My Parents both served on that council and school board for 30+ years and constantly told those boards they were going to bankrupt the town with their spending. Here it is now. I also find it AMAZING that there is no published information on how MUCH money is being collected in taxes yearly AND WHAT THAT MONEY IS BEING SPENT BY LINE ITEM. That is information legally the taxpayers deserve and should have. I hope that information is available somewhere. If anyone knows, please publish that information. I hope the concerned citizens do exactly what you said and go to the state. SEVEN people and a few managers do not rule 10,000 +. Lending tax payer money to builders and developers without the people’s consent cannot be legal. I hope this group is taken to task and the town rears up against them. I don’t live in Columbia, but my Mother pays huge taxes in that town. I would help in any way possible to aide your fight. Good luck…”

“To my knowledge there is no additional application into the loan fund. The one loan that was made was part of the renovation of Hinkles. Saying that the taxes are going up to fund one particular person or project at this point is sensational falsehood. Either ignorance or maliciousness. Either way its misguided.”

“To attract outside investment, programs like this make the difference. The tax increase as a percentage of your total property tax is a 3.8% increase.  1.4 Mils is NOT huge. The goal of making Columbia a destination for investors is admirable, logical and likely to work.”

I don’t know actual numbers but Don Murphy has risked hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars of his own money and financing betting on Columbia and starting to turn downtown around. The idea that people in this town demonize him shows a lack of vision and gratitude that is dumbfounding. Basically, its a strange meanspiritedness and hate for progress… totally irrational. It reminds me of how town elders screwed up the merger with Hempfield School District 40 or 50 years ago. Lack of vision… If you are against the development of the downtown, you want Columbia to fail. You must LOVE vacant buildings and decay, and you DO NOT want what’s best for the town.”

“I am passionate about the future of this town and can’t let negative BS go unchecked, but that’s all I’ve got. Not sure anyone is dancing in the streets over any price increase – I am an insurance agent, I know for sure – but some things are worth it – Columbia’s future is worth it. 21% of Municipal – 3.8% of total Property Tax Liabiilty – .4 mils – a small amount $1.40 for every 1000 of assessed value. A small, overall number. – as I mentioned, governments everywhere do stuff like this – in order to compete for investment dollars, Columbia should do it too.”

“plus he gets tax breaks out the ass! We get no breaks, and our taxes go up while hes profiting and making us poor even poorer! We’ve got a lot of fixed income seniors in town…..where’s their break? Nope none for them therefore why is he not paying full tax amount? Or is the savings a palm greaser…..hmmmm”

“then put your money up, dont keep increasing taxes that people already cannot afford! These seniors that have bern here lifelong deserve better….not taxes to death snd feel as though they are being forced out of their homes!”

“It truly is you who doesn’t understand. What do you suppose the solution to the tax hikes is? Do you think they raise taxes just in case? What is behind a tax hike? Too little income. You must raise taxes to increase income. In a town with little to no growth, taxes will always go up at a much steeper rate than a town where the growth rate is well into the positive side, because in that town there is more people/businesses supporting the economy. Columbia’s economy is dying. Don’t believe me? Just read the months and months of posts on this very forum, where people talk about merging the school system with Penn Manor or Donegal or Hempfield due to lack of funding. Read about Colonial Metals closing and the effect it will have on the local economy. Read to your hearts content about the many facets of the local Columbia economy and infrastructure that is going backwards. That is why your taxes need to go up, to make up for all of that lost income. The answer is economic stimulus, and that is what the new park is all about. Withhold your support….pay the price. Don’t bring in new blood into the local economy….pay the price. Higher taxes.”

“The tax increase was because the Borough established a revolving loan fund to encourage economic development. Something I learned on Friday is that there is also a program for homeowners to make improvements to their home administered by LHOP.
Additionally the reason why the Community First Fund and LHOP are administering these loans is to prevent the decision making on the loan approvals from coming from Borough Hall. This prevents local politics and favoritism from becoming part of the loan approval process.”

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