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There have been articles in The Lancaster News in the past months about how Lancaster County Council is spending our tax dollars. I have both heard and read about the outrage of many citizens of the county over the more than $500,000 price tag attached to the new EMS station on Rocky River Road in the Buford community.
I read that the property purchased appraised at a value of $50,000 for tax purposes. Many Lancaster County citizens are upset that this same piece of property was purchased by the county for about $250,000.
Anyone who owns property and pays taxes on that property knows that the taxable value and the fair market value are two entirely different things. A home might appraise at $100,000 for taxes, but if the owner tries to sell this property, the sale appraisal would probably be closer to $200,000 to $300,000.
I am glad to know that my fellow citizens would have been willing to sell a prime piece of real estate for $50,000 out of the kindness of their hearts. It is uplifting to know that they would keep the finances of Lancaster County in mind and not have the property appraised for fair market value to make a profit.
Unfortunately, as we have seen in the past, the longer the wait to build something, the greater the cost will be. So many complained about the cost of the new courthouse, but if it had been built 20 years ago when we knew that it was needed, the cost would have been lower.
The same equation can be applied to the new EMS station; if it had been built when it was first determined to be needed, the cost would have been less.
We, as a county, need to take stock of what is needed in our county and be willing to address these issues instead of putting them off until another time.