High wages are getting relatively low priority in Santa Rosa’s effort to recruit new employers.
Instead, the county’s current approach appears centered on building the tax base by subsidizing new jobs in employment sectors that produce a bigger bang in quantity than quality: retail outlets and call centers.
That’s in part a response to public scrutiny that includes criticism of the county’s newly released 2016-2017 budget. In a hearing last month, Milton resident Wallis Mahut grilled commissioners about why more businesses aren’t being brought in to offset the ad valorem tax burden on residents.
“I agree I wish we could bring in huge car manufacturers, but you have to look at our unemployment rate,” where Santa Rosa’s 4.3 percent ranks 10th best among the state’s 67 counties, said District 3 Commissioner Don Salter. He added, “Of course we could always do better.”
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