Perhaps the most serious of our promises to you has been our promise of low taxes. I am deeply committed to keeping this promise, and under my leadership our tax rate has either declined or remained the same during the twelve years of my service to you. Our tax rate has dropped from $.04/$100 in 1999 to $0.025 in 2009 and has remained at that low rate, helping soften the financial blow of Union County's two property revaluations during that time. Yet, by prudent fiscal management and aggressive savings, we have accumulated a large "rainy day" bank balance to be used in emergencies and to provide future community facilities and conservation and recreation land purchases.

But there is only ONE way to keep taxes low: by controlling spending! A perfect example is the Town of Stallings: their tax rate was $0.10/$100 in 1999. Then, the mayor and town council embarked on an aggressive annexation plan, taking in huge commuter subdivisions with huge demands for services. They also began allowing  liquor sales and courted big retail sprawl, believing that retail would "pay the bills". Instead, the town has had to establish its own police department to combat the crime that comes with all that retail, and has had to further raise taxes to provide the services demanded by all that high-density residential development. The result? Stallings' tax rate rose to $0.25/$100 in 2005! These were not necessarily bad spending priorities; residents felt the need for some of the expensive services, and their town council provided what residents wanted and what they were willing to pay for. Mineral Springs residents have not expressed a desire to pay for for expensive services, and as a result our council has limited town spending.

I promise to continue to lead your town council on the prudent fiscal path we have followed for twelve years: carefully guard every penny of your money; never allow policies that lead to wasteful spending; keep your town small to keep your bills small.