by Bob Shannon
We often listen to Pols cite the “gouging” we poor rubes are being subjected to. Members of Congress & our state legislative bodies –even local Pols get in on the game — tell us that big banks, big insurance companies, big brokerage firms, big pharmaceutical companies, big this or that are gouging us … and, by golly, the Pols are going to do something about it. Absent our Pols’ intervention, we would be bowled over by institutions cheating us at every turn.
What they don’t talk about is the gouging they do themselves. No better example of this is what we have happening right here in King William County. A theft of epic proportions is taking place right in front of us.
Local governments need a reserve fund for a time when the economy contracts and the local government needs funds to continue operating. This fund is supposed to be for the purpose of paying the ongoing routine costs of local government.
In 2012 the King William Reserve Fund stood at a reasonable $3.2 million. The recommendation of the Government Financial Officers Association states that a locality’s reserve fund range should be between 5% and 15% of its annual expenditures. That would put the appropriate number for King William somewhere between $1.5 million and $4.5 million.
Today that Reserve Fund sits at $10.9 million! That number is published in four county government documents, in spite of their current efforts to manipulate that number. Why? Because county officials know the citizens of King William are aware of this “gouging,” and are beginning to ask questions, lots of questions.
The first question: Why is the reserve so high, and why hasn’t the Board of Supervisors lowered the outrageous real estate tax rate to a level commensurate with surrounding localities? The Virginia Association of Counties says that the average county real property tax rate in Virginia is $0.67 per $100. King William sits at $0.88, a stunning 32% higher than the Virginia county average.
What are county officials planning to do with this money? They are getting ready to spend a truck load of it on private commercial developments under the guise of “targeted economic development.” Virginia Tax payers coughed up $10 million for a natural gas pipeline built in 2010 that was going to “open up development down Route 360, benefiting all of us.“ Nine years later, and just where is all of that benefit we were promised?
The King William supervisors have been gouging homeowners, and they are getting ready to hand the money over to their crony developer pals. Yes, it is that simple, folks.
Bob Shannon is chairman of the King William Tea Party.There are currently no comments highlighted.