Seems to me we have a conundrum that was created by lack of foresight. As a result of this, we will be forced to pay with a fee, but it’s not a tax.

It’s doublespeak but a basic emergency service may disappear unless we pony up.

The 911 service for Pike County is experiencing a possible budget shortfall due to an increase in the fee the county pays Kentucky State Police for manning 911 service, along with a reduction in the funding used to sustain the service.

So we, as citizens, have options; we either pay the proposed fee — currently discussed as being $5 per month — or risk losing the service in four months.

As a taxpayer we deserve certain services. That’s why we are forced to pay taxes. We should have clean water, trash pickup, emergency services, good roads and all that other stuff that goes with fundamental and basic living expectations.

We get taxed to death because when government wants to do something and they have no money with which to perform that task, they impose a tax or a fee to fund the project.

Lawmakers in Frankfort are now looking at decreasing state income tax but imposed taxes on previously tax-free services. That’s OK for the working person because a tax is paid by all consumers, not just the working people. But in their infinite wisdom, they should ensure that all counties have the basic services we need.

Can you imagine Pike County without a 911 service? If that happens, you can forget about attracting business. Judge-Executive Ray Jones could just shut down the county and let it perish. Tourism efforts will be extinct. I can see someone walking the trails or floating down one of our waterways in need of help and dial 911 and receive no answer. No one will ever come here.

So what’s the answer? Impose the tax or fee to make it survive? That may work but only the honest people will be funding that service.

Judge Jones has said that if the county collected all the property tax each year we would be much closer to being solvent. People don’t pay their trash bill and their property tax. If that remains so, then the county’s plan of placing this fee on the property tax bills will just ensure the honest carry the cost.

Time will tell and as much as I hate to see another fee or tax imposed, this needs to happen and the county government needs to continue to make every effort to collect the property tax bills.

We are all in this together and if we all work together we can pull our selves out of this mess that government should have taken care of in the first place.

Thanks for reading the News-Express.