Time to lower property tax rates in Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Editor, the News-Herald:

Mr. Mayor, I have a few opinions on how to make Suffolk a better place to live. I do not agree with you on your much-repeated Smart Growth ideas as the solution to all of this city’s problems. Growth will occur with or without the desire of city planners to tell us where to build and what to build.

Smart growth is not more important than smart spending. I believe smart spending and lower tax rates on those of us who live here is of equal importance.


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The idea of city officials using taxpayer money to give $10,000 grants to businesses to fix up their store fronts should be, if not already, against the law. Taxpayer money should only be used to benefit all the citizens of Suffolk. If these officials want to give grants, they should pull out their own checkbooks.

I visited the much publicized and talked about memorial fountain on Main Street. I was disappointed to say the least. I watched City Council approve $50,000 for this fountain. There were other businesses listed there at the fountain as supporters of this project.

Was the project let out for bids? This is one very expensive, small fountain. The fountain at Harbour View Theater makes the fountain look almost laughable. The city should always ask for bids on these taxpayer funded projects and the people should be told the total cost.

The mosaic fish should be taken to Harbour View and mounted on the center of a real fountain. More citizens will see this Italian piece there than will ever visit the small, overprices fountain where it is now located.

The City Council should cut the real estate property tax rate not only for downtown, but citywide. The city assessor did not raise my taxes; you all did by voting not to adjust the tax rate. Now is the time to adjust the tax race citywide.

William H. Harward