By any other name, still a tax

Published 9:13 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

Well, miracle of miracles.

Every citizen of Suffolk should get on his knees facing City Hall and give thanks to our city manager and Councilman Robert Barclay. We are actually going into a new fiscal year without a tax increase.


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But watch the fees and surcharges. They’ll get you every time.

These city officials who are elected or hired to conduct our city business must think we are complete idiots. Look people, money extorted from citizen taxpayers is a tax, no matter what you call it. It can be a fee, a surcharge or any other name you can think up, but it is still money out of our pockets.

The main increases cited in newspaper articles are water and sewage rates and trash pickup charges.

The water and sewage rates are bogus. For years, these rates have been set to recover the cost of supplying water and disposal of sewage. These charges increase as costs increase. Water and sewage service should not be used as a method of padding costs for other things less important.

As for trash/appliance pickup, what do you think will become of most of the old washers, dryers, refrigerators and window air conditioners? They will end up on roadsides or in ditches for the city or the state highway department to recover.

This item is strictly aimed at raising cash. A large portion of the people of Suffolk, whom city leaders are supposed to serve, cannot afford to pay $50 to get rid of an old appliance.

The city should not forget that during these times of economic distress, it must also do some belt-tightening and adjust its programs to fit the conditions our citizens must live with.