If we could all set our budgets the way government does


A $3.3 million budget shortfall is forcing Albemarle County to consider reducing school programs, among other money-saving measures, officials confirmed Tuesday.
County leaders had predicted a slowdown in the housing market, but County Executive Robert W. Tucker Jr. said in an e-mail to Albemarle schools Superintendent Pam Moran and the Board of Supervisors that “the extent of the slowdown is greater and has occurred more quickly than expected.”

The county collects real-estate taxes twice per year and bases its budget on revenue projections. This year, the county had projected that residents’ property reassessments would rise 5 percent. The new projection pegs the number at 0.8 percent, leaving the county with a hole to fill.

This demonstrates in painful term the perils of 1) basing your budget on hopes rather than concrete money-in-hand and 2) spending every nickel taken from the taxpayers.

It’s a shame that the schools depend so heavily on property taxes.

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