I certainly don’t intend to be partisan. But … government should have to defend adequately how they spend our money. The following editorial is from the local “Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance.” * If the people don’t speak out on 2 April at 6pm at the County Office Building, or by contacting your representatives, don’t complain.
“It’s only a “pizza and beer a month,”to paraphrase one member of the Board of Supervisors reaction to last year’s failure to raise taxes to their original proposal of 30% (they were raised “only” 19.5%). The difference equates to $15 per month or $180 per year. Doesn’t sound like much does it? We’ll get back to that later.
That statement ignores that a property valued at $300,000 in 2007 already paid an increased tax bill of $332 / year from the supervisors ‘ 19.5% tax increase. So let’s be clear, there was no tax cut. Further, because state law requires that the rate be lowered to produce an equal amount of tax revenues (plus 1%), there was no “rate cut” either.
To suggest there was a rate cut is to ignore state law.
Had this additional “pizza and beer” increase gone through, that property owner would have received aÂ $512 per year increase! This is more than chump change. Do you really think that if that additional $180 increase had gone through in 2007, there would have be en no request for increased funding in FY ’08/’09? Unlikely-we’d see the sameÂ hand-wringing about the budget.
Back to “pizza and a beer.”
One man’s pizza and beer is another family’s six (or more) doctor visit co-pays. (ed. note: bolding mine)
Or another person’s two dental check ups, because some folks don’t have dental insurance. Or it might be a couple of grocery bills for a family of four, who don’t generally get a chance to go out for pizza very often. Or for many retirees it’s two months of Part B Medicare payments. $15 per month may not be much, but to some it pinches.
Demeaning the tax increase by suggesting it’s merely a”pizza and beer” per month is like TV commercials that hawk elder life insurance policies by suggesting that it only costs 50 cents a day! That’s still $180 per year! Whenever a marketer uses “per month” or “per day” cost, watch out; there is something you should be paying attention to, most likely your wallet.
Paying taxes is a citizen’s duty and responsibility. No right-thinking pers on can argue otherwise. However, it is also the county’s duty and responsibility to spend our tax dollars as effectively and efficiently as possible. We need to focus first on how we are spending current revenue before considering any increase in taxes, “pizza and beer” increases included.””
I’d like to link to a Daily Progress article from the last time assessments were done in Albemarle County, but apparently they’ve never written about David Slutzky (but they’re working on it).
* the “Alliance” is an arm/derivative of the local Republican Party; while I don’t subscribe to strict partisan efforts, I think that in this case, they have a point worth sharing.