Personal income goes down
as City Council spending
goes up - again!
This is not the headline that
explained the Virginia Beach City Council's adoption of ONE
Billion dollar ($1,000,000,000.00+) plus budget as of 1 July, but it
is the result. The Hampton Roads District Planning Commission just
reported that area wages slid further behind the national average (from
85 percent to less than 85 percent), while cost of living in the area increased.
We're experiencing national average cost of living while significantly below
national average wages. City spending
is growing faster than wages of its citizens who have to pay the
bills for a City Council imposing tax and fee increases that serve
the few at the expense of the many.
The increase in meal
taxes and the real estate mil rate constitutes just one more burden
imposed by City Council. The City Council is already awash
in a windfall of your money from rising real estate property values. You
will never hear a City Council member admit that holding real
estate tax rate constant with rising property values is a
tax increase. This denial by silence is despite the fact that states law
requires them to vote to keep the rate in place.
The City has been broadcasting its financial awards and
accepting praise for its money management. This recognition is well
deserved. This recognition has been achieved by the imposition of
excessive taxes and fees, while per capita income in real terms has
remained flat for a decade. A City should be judged by the financial
condition of its average earner living and working within its boundaries.
The purpose of government is
not to grow at the expense of the citizens it serves. The purpose of
government is to promote the exercise of personal freedom and private
accumulation of wealth by placing the smallest possible burden on its
citizens. Everyone understands that there are essential things that
government must do and those things must be paid for. What we cannot
understand is why the City Council cannot do what every
household does make the tough choices to live within the income
you have. You can't go to your boss and say, give me more salary because
I want to buy a new car. Your employer's ability to pay you is limited by
his ability to sustain profitability and pass the cost on in the market place.
Beach City Council is passing on the cost of its inability to make tough
choices to you. Therefore, government
spending grows by lowering your disposable income. It may well
be a majority of us are willing to tradeoff our personal standard
of living for increased government spending. The last council
election suggests this may be true. If this is not
true, then no incumbent should be returned.
Former Virginia Beach City Councilman
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