21 November 2006

Livid with VSL

I hope that the Daily Progress article entitled "Law may cost city $1.2 million" has not escaped anyone's attention today. One alternatively appropriate title could be: State flushes local revenues down toilet.

Are there a few other local citizens are as outraged as I am over the Virginia State Legislature's predilection for using the localities as whipping boys? According to the report,
Charlottesville could see a $1.2 million drop in communications tax revenues beginning Jan. 1 when a new state law takes effect.

Instead of Charlottesville collecting the taxes from landline telephone and cable television service providers at a 10 percent rate, the state will collect the taxes at a new 5 percent rate and remit the proceeds to the city. That means a savings for local landline and cable customers.

I've lost count of the number of unfunded mandates the State government has passed down to the localities. Too often, Council has had to explain from the dais how we (the local gov't and the property taxes that prop it up) are responsible for picking up the tab on everything from social services to educational testing to public works repairs to transportation improvements because the State has cut its funding for this or that program and refuses to raise taxes in order to pay for its necessities. Now those narcisstic, impotent wannabe brokers in Richmond are messing with our ability to get the money to do so. I am livid.

The situation is untenable. If certain lobbies or interests don't like the way in which we try to close the gap between what we have been ordered to handle and what we can raise the money to pay for, they merely have to go to Richmond and scream "Dillon Rule!!" until our chain gets yanked by greasy, pig-eyed politicians who are more concerned about who is screwing whom than who they themselves are screwing over. There is a sick, S&M quality to our state versus local dynamic which needs to end.

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