Keeping people away from Suffolk
It appears city management did a reasonably good job in dealing with the 12-cent tax cut. I believe more personnel could have been eliminated and the revenue raising meals and lodging tax increases are certainly regressive (As is our entire real estate and property tax structure). But, those were my only two issues with what was presented last Wednesday. I applaud the administration for retaining curbside recycling and it didn’t appear there were any planned cuts to services that would be too severe. Not that more couldn’t have been eliminated, but 12 cents is what they were ordered to cut.
I do wish, however, that Councilman Charles Brown would cease and desist from arguing that he doesn’t want to cut taxes because low tax rates will cause this flood of people to come to Suffolk.
He first broached this argument at the May 3 meeting. I thought then it was nonsensical but let it pass. He brought it up again last Wednesday. Then in his closing remarks he started talking about how much Suffolk has improved over the past 10 years, how neighborhoods are now safe and people don’t have to be afraid to go walking in the evenings; how great the downtown area is; the investment that has been made in education; and the wonderful parks Suffolk has.
All this is true, of course, but does the councilman not think that improved public safety, surging economic development and better parks are going to lure people to our city as much as low taxes?
Does he not think that shiny, new, $50 million school buildings are going to cause people to want to move to Suffolk?
Better schools, better parks and improved safety are at least as important as low taxes to people looking to move. Those are also things big companies look at when they are going to relocate a big plant. Under Mr. Brown’s reasoning, we wouldn’t want those pesky companies coming here bringing jobs and tax revenue.
I hope someone brings this up to him so he doesn’t waste people’s time by continuing to harp on it.