While four or five Columbia County residents will head to the polls Tuesday - yes, believe it or not, there is a Democratic runoff election in the U.S. Senate race - there also are five county citizens making an important vote of their own.
After swearing in newly elected commissioner Scott Dean, Columbia County commissioners are expected to approve the final list of items that will be on November's ballot for renewal of the special-purpose local-option sales tax.
They've been spending the past couple of weeks whittling down nearly $400 million in proposals to fit into the estimated $180 million maximum that renewal of the tax is expected to bring.
It's not unlike a bride crash-dieting to fit into a wedding dress, and the challenge afterward is the same: keeping the fat off after the honeymoon.
When commissioners set those priorities Tuesday, much of the focus needs to be on capital improvements and projects that will not need continued feeding from property tax funds.
Sales taxes are an ideal form of government funding because they are paid voluntarily, and because some of the revenue comes from visitors to the community. Property taxes generate the bulk of the county's operating revenue, and that comes only from property owners. They're taxed enough.
As one of their priorities, commissioners on Tuesday must make the best use of those sales funds while easing the burden on property owners.
We're confident they'll get it right so voters in November can say "I do."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.