Filling the void, you can help

Published 11:07 am Thursday, March 12, 2009

Revenue shortfalls within local and state government dominate the headlines and television news.

Reports of hiring freezes, travel restrictions and, in some cases, public service employee furloughs are about as common as the sun rising every morning.

Locally, municipal and county government leaders find themselves strapped for cash as the final few months of the current fiscal year wind down.

Tough decisions must be made to find enough operating capital to keep the financial books balanced through June 30.

Governor Perdue’s recent decision to withhold $200 million earmarked for distribution among the state’s public schools has left a huge hole in local budgets. Additionally, she has intercepted nearly 50 million additional dollars that were to be dispersed from the state lottery proceeds as well as the ADM (Average Daily Membership) capital funds.

In Northampton County, that leaves a $500,000 hole to fill.

Couple that bad news with lagging numbers in sales tax revenue and we’ve got a financial mess on our hands.

Hertford County, as the area’s leading retail shopping destination, may face an $800,000 within its county coffers.

Gates County faces a $433,000 shortfall.

Bertie County’s numbers are off to the tune of $750,000.

While we can’t control the Governor’s decisions, we do have the power to help ease the sales tax deficit. We implore all local residents to shop at home. Keep your local money flowing through the local bloodstream. It’s a win-win situation for all involved.

– The Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald