She’s disappointed in Newsoms supervisor

Published 11:46 am Saturday, May 8, 2010

To the Editor:

After the hearing of the Southampton County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday night, April 27, I came to several conclusions.

No. 1, Michael Johnson, county administrator, gave a wonderful presentation on the land-use tax, and I am thankful the Board of Supervisors voted to keep this in effect.

No. 2, Supervisor Walter Brown III of the Newsoms District is not listening to his constituents when he casts his vote. I would dare say there was one person in the audience from the Newsoms District who would be in favor of another tax increase.

Supervisor Ronnie West stated it plainly: “We have backed ourselves (meaning the county, namely the Board of Supervisors) in a corner, and we have nowhere to go with personal property tax.”

Yet, instead of going with the original plan of 50 cents per hundred dollars of assessed value, the Board of Supervisors voted on a $1 increase.

Not only was the personal property tax increased, but the board also agreed to raise real estate taxes.

Mr. West stated that real estate taxes would increase another 3 cents in the next year, meaning 2011. Why would anyone want to come to Southampton County to build a house or live since we have the highest tax rate of any county around us?

Mr. Brown stated at least three times, if not four, that “we are at a crossroads.”

We do not need to keep on the same path of increasing taxes. Every county and city around us cut. Why can’t the Board of Supervisors of Southampton County realize we cannot continue on this path of a tax increase every year?

Henrico Country adopted a $1.02 billion budget and kept the property tax rate the same and also has a reserve built up. It saves 10 cents out of every dollar that it collects. We are spending reserves like there is no tomorrow.

I think the people in the Newsoms District have come to a “crossroads,” and we need for Mr. Brown to hold a public meeting with his constituents and explain his position.

I left the April 27 meeting feeling that I did not have a supervisor representing me or the taxpayers and landowners of Newsoms District.

Mr. Brown, I challenge you to give us a date for a public meeting before May 17 to explain to the taxpayers and landowners of Newsoms District your position on this tax increase.

Are you supporting the landowners, taxpayers and voters of the Newsoms District, or are you supporting the school board?

Linda N. Vick