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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.

      Unfortunately, Virginia 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.

John Moss
Former Virginia Beach City Councilman

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