County gives away tax dollars

Published 9:36 am Tuesday, March 1, 2011

To the Editor:
It is said, the only definite things in this world are “death and taxes.”
So, as an accommodations provider in Polk County we pay our share to the federal, state, county, city and Travel and Tourism entities (five total).
It is also understood that there should be “no taxation without representation.”
So, when the advisory board to Polk County Travel and Tourism learned that the organization that many had labored years to establish was to be “dissolved” and our tax dollars diverted to the Foothills Chamber of Commerce, it was deeply upsetting to a good number of business owners in this community.
The hard working people of Saluda, Columbus and Tryon should be upset as well, because what is happening to us could easily happen to you! What the accommodations providers and other tourism related businesses in this area contribute to the county coffers helps to offset the tax burden on the general public. Since the mills have all closed and agricultural lands are being developed, tourism is a good place to focus.
The engine that drives local tourism would best be managed by the people that have invested their homes, their educations, their lives and tax dollars to see it do well.
Is the membership of the Foothills Chamber qualified to do that? Would we be expected to pay again for membership to the chamber to have our voices heard?
Look at the very name the chamber group is using – they call themselves the “Foothills Chamber of Commerce.” The reason for that is because they also promote business interests across the border in South Carolina. Is that where we need our tax dollars to go – to another state?
Just visit our website,, and there you will find that first example of the hard work the tourism membership has put into promoting this most beautiful part of the country. Should we be forced to throw it all away?
In these difficult economic times, we all need to get the most for every dollar spent. So why should the chamber turn down a $66,000 contribution from the county? (This brings us back to that “taxation without representations” thing again.)
It is recognized that governments across this great land have made some bad decisions. Can we allow our local government to hand over 66,000 of our tax dollars to a private entity with no proven track record? We can’t allow that to happen here.
There’s too much at stake.
– Dale Potruski, owner of The Oak Bed and Breakfast

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox