New budget should leave tax increases out

Published 11:20 am Wednesday, May 26, 2010

To the Editor:

What part of no tax increases does the Southampton County Board of Supervisors not understand?

It was “a rude awakening” for me to read of the board’s reaction to the Monday night public hearing. It appears our board believes we are understaffed and have less government than any of our surrounding areas.

Isle of Wight to our east and Greensville to our west both have lower tax rates, and like Southampton, they both have land-use taxation. Apparently there must be a lot of fat or waste in Southampton’s smaller government.

What must happen for the Southampton board to “get it?” Well over half of the county budget goes to the school system. Let me suggest that a lot of the cuts have to be made in the school budget.

Yes, our children are the future of Southampton County, however, for our children to have a future, employment possibilities must exist when they finish their education.

We have to hold the line on taxes to attract new businesses and create jobs to replace those lost at International Paper, Franklin Equipment, a Smithfield packing plant, as well as all of the small businesses, which are not likely not to survive our depressed economy.

Mr. Jones, Mr. Young, Mr. Brown and the remainder of our board need to meet the challenge that they are facing. Southampton County taxpayers deserve and demand that our board of supervisors be more than good guys and good neighbors.

We demand that our board have the courage to cut each and every agency and department to find the additional savings needed to pass a budget with no tax increases.

If Greensville and Isle of Wight counties can operate “larger governments” on considerably lower tax rates than Southampton, a competent Southampton County board should be able operate a “smaller government” without any tax increases or water/sewer rate increases.

If our board is not up to the job then the voters need to do like so many other areas have done and elect new members with new ideas to run our county.

Sheldon Worrell Jr.