Saving money in Brooke County

Local government tax initiatives often are placed on special election ballots. That may give the proposals an edge, because voters who support them are more likely to make the extra effort to go to the polls for a single-question special election.

But elections cost money. In Brooke County, the cost of holding a special election is about $40,000, County Clerk Sylvia Benzo told county commissioners this week.

Commissions are considering how to proceed on two excess property tax levies that support Brooke County fire departments, ambulance units and other local government services. Combined, the two levies generate about $1,054,000 a year.

Brooke County voters are likely to re-authorize the levies, which do an enormous amount of good.

Commissioner Tim Ennis said consideration is being given to placing the levies on the May primary election ballot, rather than holding a special election for them. “If we can save the taxpayers some money, I think we should try to do it,” he commented.

Absolutely. The $40,000 that would be saved could be put to good use by county government. Commissioners should place the levies on the May primary election ballot.