Taxpayers can’t swallow a 9-cent pill

Published 6:26 pm Wednesday, April 26, 2017

County Administrator Tracy Gee was on point when she said that the county school board’s nearly $795,000 request for additional funds was “a very hard pill to swallow.”

We say this because we think the pill — essentially a 9-cent real estate tax increase — is one the landowners of Lunenburg County cannot swallow.

In an earlier editorial on this page, we stressed for school leaders and county supervisors to be realistic when coming up with a solution for the schools’ request in funding for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2017-18 county operating budget.

We understand the schools have operational, instructional, transportation and other types of needs to educate students to be the best and brightest citizens. We also understand that supervisors have other departments and agencies to provide for, including the sheriff’s office, solid waste, recreation and others.

During supervisors’ April meeting, they came to the consensus to allow the county’s finance committee to have until their May 11 meeting before voting to advertise an official proposed tax rates and budget.

We urge the finance committee to be realistic in its approach, discussions and recommendation to the full board.

“Our goal in the finance committee is to try to help the schools,” said Plymouth District One Supervisor T. Wayne Hoover during the meeting. “Realistically, I don’t think we can do $795,000 with a 9-cent tax increase.”

The needed tax increase for the nearly $795,000 would result in a 30-percent tax rate increase, another pill the taxpayers in Lunenburg County cannot swallow.