Shock and uncertainty are emotions few people long to experience. Unfortunately, our area received word earlier this week that the NRG plant, to put it nicely, is considering its options.
At a time when gas and grocery prices are soaring, an increase in taxes would put more than a slight strain on the wallets of our county taxpayers. The potential loss of $10 million in a county tax base is a concept few can logically grasp.
The list of unanswered questions is lengthy: Will my property taxes go up? Will my city school taxes go up? What will happen to an abandoned plant? Is there another company willing to buy the NRG plant to keep the plant functioning locally?
Public entities do not pay taxes to fund county services. You do. Private businesses do. The public you and the people you care about already understand the economic security of our future depends fully on the development of private businesses.
No businesses? No future.
The economic panic surrounding this news makes the controversy around the County Home fairly meaningless. That statement wasn't intended to sound insensitive; rather, the County Home has something that other industries desperately crave: interested buyers. The city of Dunkirk would hope to be as lucky in looking for the privatization of the Boardwalk.
What can we do? Of course, sending e-mails and calling state officials to lobby our cause simply can't be talk around the water cooler. If you've never contacted officials before, just take your finger to the computer keyboard or to the phone dial. Every voice matters.
But there is something else you can do. Take a minute to thank your local businesses for providing services and goods to you. Seriously. Whether you are locally picking up a pizza, buying a car, shopping for a birthday card, grooming your dog or getting a manicure, thank the private businesses for paying the taxes that give you the quality of life we have in this fine county.
Choosing inaction is something our county truly can't afford.