Show off your holiday lights and you could win an iPad! Enter your photo by December 13. Winner will be selected by popular vote.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Re: “Tax increase was the wrong budget solution,” by Chris Tuck (April 28 commentary):
Why is a member of our Montgomery County Board of Supervisors trying to compare all of the counties in the 9th Congressional District as one? This type of narrow-minded view does not do justice to our culturally diverse counties, our special areas, rural localities and our citizens.
Yes, Montgomery County has twice the real-estate tax rate of Wythe County, but look at the difference in what our taxpayers want and expect versus other taxpayers in other counties. If the taxpayers and voters in Wythe County want the services that are provided with a 44-cent tax rate, then make it so. That is their right. And if that is what Tuck wants, then he should move there. You get what you pay for.
We in Montgomery County prefer a better school system with a higher percentage of graduated students and college acceptance rates, but that want comes with a price — higher teacher pay, advanced classes and high-tech schools, and that means higher taxes. The improved school system also draws more technical companies and jobs into our county, since business leaders want their children to graduate with the most opportunities in the New River Valley. Again something we want and will vote for, but not Tuck.
We know more cutbacks are in the state budget for the next two years. We know it will indirectly impose an adverse effect on our schools, teachers, police, emergency responders and infrastructure. As usual, the 9th District will suffer again at the uncompromising hand of our state legislature unless our county and local elected officials have the strength to tackle the budget problems with increased taxes to maintain the services the citizens of the community want and expect. At least our county officials have listened to the voters and taxpayers. Thank God our officials had the courage to support education, police and first responders, because that is what the state budget affects first.
It was noted that Tuck did not include our well-trained and state-certified police, emergency and fire department personnel, whose qualifications are equal to those in Roanoke, Richmond and other major state-certified agencies. Also missing was reference to the local infrastructure that is served within Montgomery County. None of this is free. We the county real-estate owners and taxpayers vote for this because we prefer the services we receive. Tuck tried to use the old fear tactic of “a tax increase of $520 over seven years.” That equates to $74 per year. We are retired real-estate owners in Montgomery County on a fixed income, and we will pay our $74 increase per year for the services we want and expect. It would cost a lot more if we moved to Northern Virginia for these services, but who wants to live there and then lose the rural beauty of the New River Valley?
Do I want lower taxes? Yes, I do! And we could have had lower taxes if the state legislature had increased our tax base over the years to keep up with inflation and provide the services we expect, but you know the rest of the story: Politics.
Weather Journal70 Thursday to ice Sunday?