Kick'em When They're Down!


I thought about titling this post "What's Wrong With This Headline?" But the front page headline in our local paper today is about right:

Dire outlook may prompt county to raise tax rate

The Daily Progress article goes on to explain

Albemarle County is forecasting a gloomy financial picture for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Even if the county decides in April to raise its real estate tax rate to 74.2 cents per $100 of assessed value — up from the current rate of 71 cents — the county would still have to make up a $5.5 million hole in its budget.

The board, however, may raise the tax rate even higher, to 76.7 cents or more, to set aside funding in case the economy continues to spiral downward. But, because the revenue from the additional 2.5-cent increase would go to a contingency fund, the county would still be $5.5 million in the hole.

"Bottom line is that revenues are slightly worse than what we were projecting in the first quarter," said the county's finance director, Richard Wiggans…

For example, the county is now projected to collect $1.9 million less in sales tax revenues than initially expected. Revenues from the state government, business licenses, various local taxes and other sources are also less than projected, largely because of the economic downturn.

The clueless economic logic of our local politicians appears to run as follows: Citizens' property values are falling; they are buying less stuff; and are worried about their jobs, so let's add to their misery by raising their taxes. Yeah, that'll really help get us out of a recession! I scanned the article in vain for any hint that budget cuts were being considered.