Resident would rather donate than be forced to give

Published 10:16 am Wednesday, October 18, 2017

To the Editor:

There has been a lot of talk and several letters published regarding the controversy over whether the county should contribute $30,000 to the Cypress Cove Country Club. I have done some small bit of research on the issue. Specifically, there are approximately 18,000 ± citizens in the county including the prisoners. Thirty-thousand dollars amounts to about $1.67 per citizen.

Even though I am opposed to taxpayer money supporting a private enterprise, I would voluntarily donate my $1.67. Also (according to the Southampton Treasurer and the Commissioner of the Revenue) there are some 16,000 tax parcels in the county and approximately 14,000 tax accounts, because some accounts include several parcels. Some citizens own more than one tax parcel. Some have more than one tax account. According to best estimates by both county officials (Treasurer and Commissioner of the Revenue) approximately 8,000 ± citizens actually pay taxes. Thirty-thousand dollars divided by 8,000 tax payers is approximately $3.75 per tax-paying citizen.

Not all country clubs are economically viable. I read a couple of years ago that some golf courses in the Midwest (such as Illinois) closed and farmers bought the land to grow corn. I have been told that the Radford/Christiansburg golf course closed because of declining membership.

I know that Oakwood Country Club members in Lynchburg sold their golf course to developers who built homes on the old fairway. The club retained its tennis courts, swimming pool, parking lot and building.

Some people say the Cypress Cove Country Club is an asset to the county (yet all who say that are not themselves members.) I am not a member, but I would hate to see the local country club and the golf course go out of business and close.

Therefore, in the interest of keeping the club viable, I would gladly donate my $3.75 fair share annually. And because many people would not so freely give, I assume at best that half of the 8,000 tax-paying citizens would donate. So to cover for those who would choose not to give, I would even double my offer to $7.50 annually. However, I strongly oppose any attempt by our elected officials to FORCE any citizen to support the country club by using our tax dollars. It would set a very bad precedent. Mrs. Linda Vick’s suggestion to distribute such funds to the local youth baseball/softball activities makes much more sense.

Ash Cutchin