A parade of speakers showed up Monday night to urge the Johnson County Commission to seize the first opportunity in a decade to approve a tax increase for improved parks, libraries and transit.
The points were well made, and the commission at its final budget meeting in August has sufficient reasons to endorse the higher property tax.
Most residents at the public hearing said they were proud of the quality of life already offered in the county, but thought it could be even better.
That echoed the thoughts of several commissioners who over the last few weeks have praised county agencies for bringing forth strong proposals to improve their services.
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Backers of the Johnson County Library on Monday said they were enthusiastic about plans to renovate older facilities, bring in new technology and erect new buildings.
Transit supporters drove home the point that more people in the county — especially the elderly as well as young people getting to and from jobs — will be able to use the extended routes that a tax increase could supply.
And parks proponents said the county needed to build on its already positive reputation for providing ample recreational opportunities to residents.
The few opponents who spoke argued that the county should tighten its belt further; could drive residents away with higher taxes; or hadn’t proved that the improved services were worth a tax increase.
But county officials already have cut personnel in recent years. The county’s mill levy rate is the state’s lowest.
It will remain that way, in fact, even if the commission endorses the higher property tax in August. As it should.