The Tea Party goes against Occupy Blacksburg in Virginia’s Montgomery County.
In Montgomery County, Virginia, the Board of Supervisors is attempting to create their new budget for the year, which is ordinarily the time they also decide to increase or decrease taxes. Well, this year the School Board is running low on funds and they are requesting that the Board of Supervisors increase property taxes on homes and buildings worth over two-hundred-fifty-thousand dollars. By. Twenty-three. Percent. 23 more cents on every dollar paid on a building. Naturally, the School Board is opposed by the Blacksburg and Christiansburg Tea Partiers and is supported by Occupy Blacksburg.
The School Board’s rational for increasing the taxes is as follows:
- The School Board needs money to remain competitive. They need to buy new buses and computers in order to keep the schools up to snuff.
- A number of their employees are living in poverty conditions due to low pay.
- They had to lay off a number of employees, so they need one million dollars to re-hire them.
Very compelling reasons to choke out small businesses and home owners with outrageous new taxes, right? Well, I didn’t think so either. Especially since Blacksburg ALREADY has very high taxes on businesses. In fact, there is a large shopping plaza that has only two stores in it out of fifteen spaces because the taxes are so high that places like Books A Million can’t afford to pay them!
Also, the building inspectors seem bent on increasing the appraisement of homes around here so they can be taxed. A friend who lives down the street from me recently had her house appraised. Her home needs new shingles, new siding, and a new paint job, but due to the bad economy, she can’t afford it . Yet, in spite of the slightly run down condition of her home, the most recent appraisement raised her homes value from the value it was at when it was in pristine condition four years ago. Why? So that the taxes can be raised on her home, that’s why!
The School Board’s rational for increasing taxes was picked apart by a Republican Board member quite rapidly.
- The Board of Supervisors had already given the School Board one point five million dollars to buy new buses and computers LAST YEAR. The School Board spent over seventy percent of it on raises and cash bonus for their employees. No new buses were purchased, and around three hundred thousand was spent on computers out of one point five million.
- The “poverty conditions” employees are actually part time workers, not full time members. Requesting over a million in order to increase their wages would be like Burger King increasing their prices to allow the Burger flippers full time salaries.
- The employees that were laid off were laid off because their jobs were temporary. Although paid as well as full time employees, their positions were to last one to two years, they were not permanent jobs. The employees were told this when they were hired and in fact they were hired with money taken from Obama’s Stimulus Plan. Meaning that Montgomery County does not nor did it ever provide the revenue AKA tax money to hire those employees.
Even with the primary reasons for this massive tax increase shot down, the School Board and Occupy Blacksburg are still pushing for this massive tax hike. The citizens of Montgomery County cannot afford this enormous tax hike or the massive spending proposed by the School Board. As such, to any of my fellow Redstaters who are living in Montgomery County, I would like to ask you to contact your local members of the Board of Supervisors and ask them to oppose the School Board’s mammoth tax increases and colossal spending plans, if you have not do so already.
Here is the list of Supervisors and their contact information as it appears on the Montgomery County Government website.
Please help the hardworking citizens of Montgomery County to stop the massive tax hikes that are in the works.
Thank you for your time.