IW board mulls tax hike

Published 12:33 pm Saturday, April 20, 2013


ISLE OF WIGHT—The past week’s discussion on possibly raising taxes to balance the budget was short, but certainly not sweet to the Isle of Wight County Board of Supervisors. They met Monday for a work session on the Capital Improvement Plan.

“We’ve got to be sure what our revenues and expenses are going to be before deciding,” said Al Casteen of the Smithfield District.

Casteen also said he was “severely disappointed with the schools” for not complying with the board’s directive to reduce their budget by five percent, an order that went to all county offices earlier this year.

If taxes have to be raised, he added, they should be as little as possible.

“We dug a deep hole last year and we have to deal with the decisions made then,” said Rex Alphin of the Carrsville District. “We still have to consider a 10-cent increase. That’s distasteful for me. All options are on the table for me.”

The tax rate is already 65 cents per $100. Budget and Finance Director Michael Terry said earlier that he and his staff came up with the 10-cent figure.

A four-cent to five-cent increase is something that she could be comfortable with, said Delores “Dee Dee” Darden of the Windsor district. She added that the board should make more cuts and look for more revenue.

“I want to see as many cuts as possible,” said Byron Bailey of the Newport District. “I’m a no-tax person.”

Bailey added that raising taxes now would be a burden on county residents.

“We’re asking the public to pay for our bad mistakes now,” he said.

Board Chairwoman Joann Hall of the Hardy District also said she has no liking for a 10-cent tax hike, but added, “We’re going to have to do something from zero to 10 cents. We’re deluged with requests to fill funding. It’s not going to happen.”