|Because the budget drives every other part of the county's actions.
Often in very strange ways.
Why are horses pets, not livestock?
Land-use tax reductions don't apply for land used to support
Why are the required lot sizes so large?
House lots don't qualify for land-use, while adjoining agricultural land might. By raising lot sizes, the county
maximizes its revenue and minimizes exempted land and open areas.
Doesn't that make sprawl?
Yes, but who cares if it gets another dollar or two into the treasury.
Whoah! That's really cynical. Are you saying the budget can
damage our environment?
Yes. It's cynical, but true. Look at our erosion control law. It gives immunity to polluters... as long as they've paid hefty erosion-plan fees.
What can I do to make a change?
Get involved. Shenandoah County is still small enough for individuals to make a difference.
And always.... vote!
Shenandoah County has seen a virtual explosion in its budget. In the last decade the government has doubled
in size, tax rates have soared, and regulations have multiplied. At the same time there has been practically no
new industry, no new services, and any improvement in the economy is a spin-off from surrounding counties.
Jim Patrick's basic objective is to reduce the size and reach of county government; and improve the ability of
taxpaying, law-abiding, working Shenandoah residents and their families to keep more of their hard-earned money
and spend it as they -- not the government -- see fit.
In the last ten years, property values have steadily climbed. The result is more revenue into the county treasury,
but even that increased income hasn't satisfied the appetite of our government. Lodging, utility, and telephone
taxes provide yet more revenue, but property taxes continue to increase. As of this writing, quarterly taxation
is being considered.
It is time to stop the tax-and-spend cycle. The first step in controlling the budget is to simply eliminate unnecessary
spending. It must be stopped. We don't need boarded-up grocery stores, enormous parks for non-residents, or sewer
lines to nowhere.
Our government should not act like an irresponsible child with a credit
card that we, the citizens, must pay the balance on.
Being elected to the Board of Supervisors is not the same as being handed a blank check. We all must live within
our budgets, and the county should do the same.
Government is not a business. The county has no business being in any business, especially real estate. It shouldn't
try to expand into new markets, grow, or maximize income.
The only business model Shenandoah County should try to imitate is efficient,
friendly, customer service; and prudent budgeting.
The county doesn't need to own large tracts of land for imaginary industrial parks. If nothing else, the impressive
failure of the industrial parks to attract any manufacturing should be a lesson learned.
It may have been the best of intentions, but it just doesn't work. It's time to abandon that model and try getting
back to the basics of what government should be doing -providing good quality of basic services of health, safety,
Shenandoah is not a wealthy county. Citizens' dollars are hard earned, and decisions made using tax revenue should
be made responsibly and prudently. People of the county should be seen as partners in our economic growth, because
they are. They should not be viewed as a convenient source of cash.
Almost no part of our County budget (or any government budget) is perfectly 'fat-free', but the largest waste is
simply too much unnecessary spending. Jim Patrick is committed to returning a measure of common sense to financial