0
Votes

Letter to the Editor: Add, Add? Why Not Cut?

To the Editor:

Is it Groundhog Day again? It seems so, since this is the silly season when, annually, the MVCCA's Budget & Finance Committee trots out its annual plea to the Board of Supervisors to search every nook and cranny to raise the tax rate in every possible tax category to facilitate funding their expansive view of the government's role in our lives, regardless of the reality of the state of the economy the past several years. One need only compare this year's MVCCA county budget resolution with those from the recent past to see my point. Here are quotes from this year's resolution and those from the prior three years:

2010: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the MVCCA urges the Board of Supervisors to look at all available sources of revenue for providing the additional funding necessary to fund the essential programs described herein. In addition to the Real Property Tax Assessment, other forms of revenue that should be considered by the Board of Supervisors should include consideration of a referendum on a meals tax, reinstitution of the vehicle registration (or “car sticker”) tax, and increases in the BPOL tax rates;

2011: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the MVCCA urges the Board of Supervisors to look at all available sources of revenue including, but not limited to a meals tax and increases in the BPOL tax rates for providing the additional funding necessary to fund the essential programs described herein;

2012: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the MVCCA urges the Board of Supervisors to adopt the $1.08 tax real estate tax rate and to look at all available sources of revenue including, but not limited to, a meals tax referendum and increases in the BPOL tax rates for providing the additional funding necessary to fund the essential programs described herein;

2013: THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Mount Vernon Council of Citizens’ Associations urges the Board of Supervisors to adopt the $1.095 residential real estate tax rate and to look at all available sources of revenue including, but not limited to, increases in proffers from real estate development, a meals tax referendum and increases in the BPOL tax rates to be more closely in line with surrounding jurisdictions for providing the additional funding necessary to fund essential public programs;

Could there be any better proof that the MVCCA fails to represent the mainstream of community thought but, rather, represents a small minority of taxpayers who share the extreme view that expansion of government to the maximum is the way to go? Has anyone in the MVCCA leadership noticed that the economy continues to teeter on the edge of recession, and that the federal deficit has increased $7 trillion over the past four years, necessitating belt tightening, not increased spending? Has anyone noticed the "sequestration" issue and its potential impact on the county? Not the MVCCA. As aptly stated by Albert Einstein, insanity may be defined as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Supervisors react to the 2013 MVCCA budget resolution as it has in prior years — essentially ignoring it. When the MVCCA starts advocating reasonable cuts in county programs rather than increases coupled with a search for tax increases, to comport with current economic conditions, perhaps it will begin to be considered as something other than a fringe organization.

H. Jay Spiegel

Mount Vernon