Raise taxes to get rid of garbage fee

Published 10:12 am Friday, June 1, 2012

To the Editor:

After reading the 50-plus comments on the May 23 article on www.thetidewaternews.com entitled “Supervisors vote 5-1 to support budget with $200 garbage fee,” it is obvious that several people are still missing the point.

The trash fee has nothing to do with the dumpsites, whether the dumps will now be open every day, boycotting the sites and dumping trash in the woods, or whether Southeastern Public Service Authority will lower fees in the future.

The fee was blatantly misnamed.

The tax could have just as appropriately been called a “we need $1.3 million to cover a budget shortfall fee,” or a slush fund fee.

In its zeal to fulfill the promise of no tax hike, the Board of Supervisors and the county administrator have created a nightmare of confusion and useless rhetoric.

Supervisor Bruce Phillips has stated that working on the budget will take time, and I agree with that statement as long as the board continues to look at trimming wasteful expenditures.

For the moment, at least, look at this fee as what it is — a tax increase. Raise the tax rate appropriately if you must, but get rid of this trash fee.

Paul Simmons