Taxpayer alliance group draws standing
room only crowd
|A new taxpayer protection
alliance drew a standing room only crowd at its organizational meeting
The group met at the Old Country Buffet to outline goals and plans to bring sanity to Virginia Beach's tax and spend mentality.
"We need to change the corporate structure and mentality of the city," said Ben Krause, one of the organizers.
In response to a comment from the audience Krause said the group would not be a 'no tax' organization.
"We are not against taxes. I want effective and efficient use of my taxes," he told the group.
He added, "I am upset our legislators are forcing us to vote a tax on ourselves," referring to state legislators who abdicated their responsibility of fiscal management by approving a referendum to go to voters.
"One man," Krause said, "called and told him that his property assessment went up 88% in 24 months. When he complained to Tax Assessor Gerald Banigan, he was told: 'If you don't like it, you can move someplace else.'"
Former City Councilman John Moss, another of the organizers of Saturday meeting, said, "Town Center (at Pembroke) is the best socialism in the city today. They took your money and gave it to someone else for the project and didn't even consider the traffic problems it'll cause.
"We need to change the structure of the city to do away with the Commissioner of Revenue and Treasurer and have a council appointed, not a city manager hired, director of finance.
"The city manager would have to justify all spending proposals to the council appointed chief financial officer and then the council would decide what gets funded.
"If the city has a $800M budget and can't find $23M in reductions, then the city is being mismanaged," Moss said.
Among other things the group will be encouraged to attend the hearing council will hold April 18 to vote on re-instating the current tax rate to apply to heavily inflated assessments - meaning citizens will be subjected to double taxation. (See below)
At the end of the hour long meeting, 10 citizens signed up to meet again Monday night to start establishing the name and organizational structure for the group.
Another general meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Old Country Buffet.