Decades ago citizens decided the way to raise revenue for local gov’t was to tax personal property, land, homes, and various other forms . What seemed to appear equitable has today morphed into a quagmire of selective exemptions and special tax breaks . At every level of gov’t (including local ) the tax code has become the “ dirty currency “ of politicians. Will the King William B.O.S address this in the 2016/17 budget ? Perhaps a reminder of how far out of balance local tax policy has become is a good place to start.
Land Use Tax Exemptions allow for generous reductions in the taxes paid on property that falls into 2 classes, Agricultural and Forestry. Land Use Tax Exemptions reduce revenue the County would otherwise collect by 1 million dollars a year. That shortfall is made up elsewhere, reflected in the K.W real estate tax rate of .94 per hundred, one of the highest in the entire State. 2 other local tax exemptions also add to this tax shifting , the first being an Exemption from the BPOL tax( Business Professional Occupational License ) that Farmers do not pay, the second is the Exemption from the Business/Machinery/Tools Tax, farmers are also exempted from paying this tax, paid by most other forms of business in King William County.
Just what do these 2 tax exemptions cost in lost revenue to King William , shifting even higher taxes to the remaining tax payers ? I would hope that either the Commissioner of Revenue or the Treasurer could answer that question. Is it warranted to quantify the additional cost shifting that occurs with every tax exemption ? If those receiving the tax break know what it’s value is, shouldn’t KW taxpayers know what it is costing them ? Perhaps the Board should institute a “ cost index”, publicly showing a dollar value for every single exemption. We talk about transparency in government, let’s do something about implementing it.
Add Federal Farm Subsidies ( 1995—2012) over 17 million in Federal tax dollars taken from tax payers and going to the Top 20 Farms in King William, subsidies for Crop Insurance ( some .68 out of every $1 ) paid by other tax payers, the Farm Use Vehicle Tag Exemption ( those pesky fees the rest of us pay DMV ) it is fair to say that the tax load at the local level is out of balance, favoring 1 small distinct group at the expense of the remainder of King William Citizens.
Do the Supervisors have the backbone to do something about this ? November’s election was about Taxes and Spending, any attempt to describe it otherwise is fool hardy. Voters threw out 3 incumbents who defended the status quo. Should this Board fail to address what is no longer defensible King William citizens will know the courage wasn’t there to do so . We have already reserved the paid ad space.
Bob Shannon Central Garage
Article written by: Tom White
How do you like this ad:
You should see this ad shortly in King William. Is this effective: I heard second-hand that one person refused to run for a KW office because his wife did not want to see her husband’s name on those “damned signs”. Good.
King William County can be the Virginia Carroll County MD. Hat tip to Bob Shannon for the okay to run this ad.
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders
How about this platform for a BOCS candidate:
Public Office is a serious undertaking and I approach this with a strong ethical commitment to do the best job I can, and to serve one term.
- I have specific ideas on how to attract business to King William County, which would bring some relief to the burden homeowners are currently shouldering. Candidates always make this promise to bring in more business but rarely go beyond generalities. My business experience and education will be brought to bear in my service as the 4th District Supervisor.
- I will work with our School Board to identifying areas of savings that could be then used to provide raises to our hard working public school teachers, from those savings. I will work to get our classroom teachers a 5% pay increase; and each school system employee currently earning less than $20,000 a 10% pay increase.
I will not vote for any tax increase, but rather, I will work with each County Department to reduce their budget by 5% each of the following years. This includes the Schools, with no teacher layoffs.
I will work to reduce the Tax .94 cents per 100 assessed value, with a goal of .80, or less, within four years.
- The County ‘checkbook’ must be put on-line, to allow immediate taxpayer knowledge as to where their money is being spent.
Well, hearten those in the Fourth District of King William County (Will I be accused AGAIN of being out of my lane!) for you have such a candidate: David E. Hansen. Here’s Hansen’s bio:
I joined the Naval Reserve while a Junior in High School; and transferred to active duty Army upon college graduation, graduating from OCS, and Ranger/Airborne training prior to my first assignment to the Army Honor Guard. After service as a combat Infantry Platoon Leader in the DMZ of Korea, I served in several overseas assignments. I have a Master’s in Health Science and a Master’s in Business Administration.
At the completion of 12 years military service; I became a State Trooper serving 12 years, prior to entering private industry in Regulatory Compliance, with focus on Training and Risk Management; retiring from FedEx as an operations manager, and 17 years in Corporate Programs analysis, development, and implementation.
Here’s more platform and how to get ahold of David:
1. I will immediately begin the elimination of the forestry exemption for everyone other than family owned land i.e., no LLC will be allowed to take this County tax relief. I believe that agriculture, a ‘family owned farm,’ should remain within a designated Land Use Exemption Program; however, I will sponsor an evaluation of the existing Agriculture (family farm) exemptions, documenting the Federal, and State funding given each vs. the ‘need’ for any additional County support.
2. I support a documentation of every ‘Regional Authority,’ that King William participates in, to include the exact statute requirements with focus on the protection of individual property rights within the County and the absolute minimal required dollar cost of each. This list and support data will be made available for review on the County web page. I do not agree that an ‘unelected’ body has any ‘right’ to infringe upon individual rights. This includes County Departments, who will not be allowed to take any ‘grant’ monies and or make any agreement / commitment without full approval of the majority of the Board of Supervisors prior to taking any money and or making any agreement / commitment.
3. The number one issue in King William is that of the continued devaluation of home ownership coupled with the increasing reliance of tax rate increases upon homeowners. The B.O.S. first priority is to reduce home owner taxes.
You can email David Hansen at email@example.com. Be blessed on the campaign trail or it is trial!
Here’s his pix! There are others in KW worth talking about running for supervisor so stay tuned…
Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders