What about his boss, for example? Let's say she makes $50,000 a year. She was paying the county $225 a year, and with the increase will pay $150 more. She, too, receives the same services as her employee.
The seven-month discussion on the county's financial problems produced more than a dozen newspaper articles and editorials and a few letters to the editor. When news that the magistrates had voted, in a controversial split, the Advocate did an unscientific survey at a handful of small businesses in Danville.
One woman said she doesn't pay much attention to politics, but she wanted to talk about the State of the Union address.
Another woman said she lives in the county and doesn't get much for her city taxes anyway. The tax in question is a county tax.
One man said he just gets paid cash, so he doesn't have to worry about taxes. He didn't offer his name.
Then there was the woman who works in Boyle County but doesn't think the tax affects her because she lives in Mercer. (She still pays the Boyle tax.)
Boyle County Judge-Executive Tony Wilder went to great lengths to educate the public about the county's financial problems. He made poster-sized charts. His staff compiled handouts. They held public hearings. At most of those, the politicians outnumbered the general public. Except in Forkland, when word got around that the county might have to take out the convenience center there.
An unfamiliar face at the meetings
There was one unfamiliar face at those meetings. He was a genuine member of the general public, but he also was a candidate for the Boyle Fiscal Court. He was Rick McQuerry.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher's appointment of McQuerry to the Fiscal Court created excitement among local Republicans, who began to pack Fiscal Court meetings and applauded McQuerry's efforts to suggest cuts instead of taxes.
McQuerry never came up with the $700,000 in cuts, though, the amount of the county's expected deficit. He says he didn't have enough time to review expenses. Magistrate John Hudson, who also voted against the increase, said he needed more time to look into the situation.
In the meantime, the county continued to use its savings to pay bills. No major cuts were ever suggested.
McQuerry and Wilder have both said they will continue to look for ways to save money as magistrates prepare the 2005 budget.
McQuerry works in Jessa-mine County and pays a 2.5 percent payroll tax there. Before Tuesday's vote, Wilder suggested McQuerry get a job here where, even with the increase, he would still pay a combined city and county tax of only 1.75 percent.
It's even worse in Wilmore, where employees pay 3 percent. Those who commute to jobs in Lexington, Richmond or Berea pay 2.25 percent.
In Garrard County, the rate is 1 percent. In Lincoln County, it is 1 percent, but employees who work in Stanford pay 1.65 percent.
Mercer County reduced its payroll tax, and now employees who work in the county pay 0.45 percent, and those in Harrodsburg pay 1.45 percent. Wilder said he believes Mercer County will soon have to start looking at its rate.
Danville workers will now pay 1.75 percent
Danville takes 1 percent from people who work in the city, and so workers here will now pay 1.75 percent.
June Carey, who works in Danville, said she and her sister were talking about the increase over lunch, and they agreed that it is too much at one time. Carey worries about how it will affect people who make minimum wage.
Some magistrates worry how the rate will affect factory workers. Someone who makes $10 an hour was paying about $93.60 a year, and will now pay $156. Someone who makes $15 an hour was paying $140.40, and now will pay $234.
Many of those workers don't live in Boyle County. Wilder says that in most cases they would be paying more tax if they had jobs in the counties where they live - with the exception of Casey County, which has no payroll tax, but does have an insurance premium tax.
It remains to be seen how the tax increase will affect Wilder's political career.