Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
GOP Reaction to the Budget
Steve Thomas, chairman of the Spotsylvania Republican Committee, offered the group’s reaction to last night’s vote on an 86-cent tax rate:
“The Spotsylvania Republicans are deeply disappointed at the Board of Supervisors’ decision to reject tax relief for the citizens of this county. Both the action and the timing are highly troubling.
The refusal to reverse last year’s mistake – and denying the taxpayers their first tax cut in 36 years in the process – sent exactly the wrong message to taxpayers, investors, and business in the county and the region. The opportunity was there to show that Spotsylvania was the place to live, work, and invest, and the Democrat majority on the Board simply blew it.
Nearly as frustrating is the sleight of hand that went into this vote.
The 83 cent budget submitted by County Administrator Doug Barnes was a lesson in diversion and distraction. With nearly $7 million in budget surplus available, a 83 cent rate could very well have been achieved with cuts. At the least, areas other the public safety or education could have been considered first. Instead, Mr. Barnes submitted a budget that hit the vital and visible first, rather than last. It looked more like was an attempt to safeguard spending in county government – at a time when Spotsylvania homeowners and businesses are suffering in record numbers – rather than a serious attempt at budgetary discipline.
Meanwhile, we could not help but notice that the Board majority took a vote on the tax rate in April 5, running afoul of their own schedule, which set the vote for April 12. Were they afraid of how taxpayers would react on the 12th? Do they so lack the courage of their convictions that they preferred doing this a week early, in “cloak-and-dagger” fashion, in the hope no one noticed? They can rest assured we will not allow that to happen.
We should note that this was the action of the Board majority, not the entire Board. Thus we also wish to thank Jerry Logan and T.C. Waddy for refusing to go along with this and standing with the taxpayers.
To these two Supervisors who recognized the need for tax relief – and to those who thumbed there noses at their constituents’ hardships – our message is simple: We know who stood up for the taxpayer and how did not, and we’ll remember in November.”