Must Be An Election Year At The Beach: No New Taxes
Well, whaddya know.
After chewing on a cornucopia of tax and fee increases to slap on Virginia Beach residents this year, City Council miraculously found a way to fund government without them.
Aren’t election years great?
Not to worry. Those levies will be back next spring.
Unless voters toss the tax-crazy characters out of office in November, that is.
Remember, this is the same crew that seven years ago decided that trash collection was a luxury and needed its own special fee.
In 2012, that fee was $10 a month. Six years later the city manager wanted to hike it to $24, according to a report in The Virginian-Pilot. He also wanted to increase the hated personal property tax and the vehicle license decal fee - even though the city hasn’t actually had decals in years.
Best of all, some city honchos sniffed that all of these proposed hikes together would amount only to an increase of about $92 a year for most taxpayers.
A mere pittance to keep our city running like a well-oiled political machine.
What the power brokers forget - because they canoodle exclusively with other members of the gentry - is that many residents of Virginia Beach have stagnant wages and are already struggling to pay their bills.
Ninety two bucks may be pocket change to Beach politicians and their Porsche-driving pals, but to the cashier at Kroger who drives a 20-year-old Chevy and works two jobs to support her family, that increase is painful.
So before the incumbents on council start bragging about how they held the line on taxes this year - and they will - remember why they did it.
One, they were desperate to stay in their comfy council seats.
Two, they were outsmarted by the three good government types on City Council: John Moss, Jessica Abbott and Bobby Dyer.
You see, with the mayor’s sudden resignation, the majority found itself unable to pass the Capital Improvement Plan without the required eight votes.
They simply didn’t have the numbers.
Moss, Abbott and Dyer proposed an alternative operating budget with no tax increases. They let the majority know that unless their frugal plan was incorporated into the regular budget, they’d sink the capital plan, with all its shiny new projects.
So the tax-and-spenders had to hold their noses and go along with them.
Memo to City Council members: Holding your proboscis is not the same as looking out for the little guy.