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Southern Eyes

As I looked in my closet while getting ready for work, I was reminded that Labor Day has passed. When I was younger, Easter meant you could start wearing white pants and sandals and Labor Day meant going back to black. Even though Labor Day is supposed to signify the end of summer, Mother Nature never seems to get the memo for our area.

Last week at the Thomson-McDuffie Convention and Visitor Bureau meeting, Executive Director Elizabeth Vance asked when the leaves start changing in McDuffie County. Evidently, she isn't from around here. I think there were six people present at that meeting and Ms. Vance received six different answers ranging from September to January. It would be a strange sight to drive down Main Street after Thanksgiving and see Christmas lights on bare tree limbs. As long as I can remember, the lights have twinkled amidst the fall-colored leaves.

Last week, I overheard three different people ask aloud the purpose of the Labor Day holiday. It seems the name is confusing, and people think the day is set aside for working.

Through research on the infamous world wide web, I learned that Congress made it a federal holiday in 1894, in response to the May Day Riots that took place in Ohio two months earlier. During the riots, many unemployed took out their frustrations on city leaders.

It's no surprise that a labor union first dreamed up the holiday to create a day off for working citizens. I guess they were smart enough to figure out that the non-working citizens already had the day off.

Last Wednesday, I was beginning to think that the McDuffie County Commissioners were going to need some type of union to dream up a way for them to ease the frustrations of local tax payers. The number of people who attended the SPLOST forum was a clear indication of how concerned local residents are with the sales tax option in the next election.

As I interviewed people after the forum, I heard repeated comments about recent property reassessments and property taxes. Every American knows that a penny saved is a penny earned, and a penny earned is a penny taxed. Unfortunately, many think all taxes are the same. But SPLOST tax has absolutely nothing to do with property taxes.

The good thing about sales taxes are voters have a say-so. The bad thing is, if the government officials don't get the taxes from sales, they will have to get it another way. I don't understand everything about the reassessments. But my cohort, Billy Hobbs, is digging into it and working on an explanation. Stay tuned to upcoming editions of The Mirror.

And until then, it's okay with me to keep your white sandals on.

Web posted on Thursday, September 04, 2008

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