For a bit of hyperbole …

Read this article from the Daily Progress concerning the current debate on the Albemarle County Budget:

Board of Supervisors Chairman Kenneth C. Boyd said that while “no one wants to reduce anyone’s spending,” he does not want to overburden local property owners. County property assessments rose an average of 30 percent in the last two years, and if the county does not reduce the rate, homeowners will see a corresponding increase in their tax bills.

“To cut funding to the schools at this point would be ludicrous,” said Steve Gissendanner, Albemarle Education Association president and fifth-grade teacher at Woodbrook Elementary. “The schools are one of the main reasons people want to live in this area. The schools are one of the main reasons developers can sell houses so well in this area, and yes, the schools are one of the reasons why real estate assessments are rising in this area. We are successful.”

Ashby Kindler, principal at Stone-Robinson Elementary, said that not fully funding this year’s school budget would be a step backward.

“The proposed tax rate of 68 cents or even 70 cents … threatens to take Albemarle County back, perhaps as much as 20 years,” Kindler said. (bolding mine)

The schools are one of the major forces driving people to the area, but so is the relative affordability of living here. More money is not always the answer. Assessments went up nearly 30% across the board. Why not advocate for using the money they already have more wisely, rather than always asking for more? The taxpayers are already paying more than their fair share through the recent reassessments. We the citizens have to manage under budgets without such windfalls, so why shouldn’t the government? As a citizen I question the government’s leadership if they are unable to manage a budget effectively without depending on massive budgetary increases every year. 

Teachers are homeowners, too. Why not advocate for a property tax break for those who own homes and live in the County?

Finding balance between the hyperbole and selfish interests is one of the reasons politics are so infuriating.

More on the school budget here.

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