District 2 Supervisor



Tax Reform






Jim's background makes him familiar with the support networks needed by small- to- medium companies. Jim can and will work to facilitate small business support of manufacturers, work to produce a reasonable tax structure, work to streamline bureaucracy, facilitate educational partnerships, and utilize available expert resources wherever possible.

Economic Growth: A Real Plan


Jim actually has a plan for economic progress.

 The principles aren't always complicated, but many factors effect economic growth. Use the sub-menu on the left to navigate to specific issues.

 Everyone claims they're for economic progress. No big surprise. But are they really for it? What has anyone done to make Shenandoah County more attractive to the industries, manufacturers, and services we want?

Shenandoah County has an Industrial Development Authority (IDA), an Economic Development Partnership (EDP), now employs a full-time Director of Economic Development (DED), and a permanent Board of Supervisors committee on Economic Development. Best of intentions or not, these methods don't work. After all these years, Shenandoah County citizens deserve more than lip service, empty shell buildings, (sold to Holtzman's for storage!) and wisps of concrete dust.

Jim actually has a plan for economic progress. More important in the long run, he will work to see that Shenandoah County has a great educational system, a healthy and balanced small business economy, and a tax structure that welcomes desired manufacturers.

By reducing inappropriate, unnecessary government spending and clamping down on its ever-increasing size, our county can reduce its greedy appetite for tax revenue. Only then can we reduce tax rates that encourage businesses of all sizes to flourish.

Jim's plan focuses on the manufacturing industry

because the road to get there,
becoming a desirable place for manufacturers to locate,
is the path to sustainable prosperity

an environment where creative enterprise can grow and flourish. His platform is consistent with the comprehensive plan developed by Shenandoah County citizens.

 Tax Reform
Make Shenandoah County financially attractive to desired businesses. Shenandoah County's tax rate on tools and machinery -the "tech" part of high-tech- is the highest in the area. It must be dropped, and it must be dropped a lot. The same is true for office machines and furniture taxes.

Make Shenandoah County financially un-attractive to un-desired businesses.
Tax on merchants' capital --also known as inventory-- is the lowest in the area, making Shenandoah attractive to bulk material handlers, like liquid asphalt plants. Rate-stepping can protect existing and smaller businesses, but still discourage using our county as a cheap warehouse.
Planning Objectives
Large factories may have their own staff, but most manufacturers rely on a network of other, often much smaller, businesses. They need mechanics to maintain company vehicles, machine shops to fabricate or repair machinery, pipefitting, welding, packaging, cleaning and landscape services, etc. to support their own operations.

Stop suppressing small business Startups and small businesses face enough difficulty without the barriers county government adds. Our Planning Commission is antagonistic to small business. Use and variance requests, if granted, are over-restrictive and consistently worded to prohibit the remotest possibility for growth.

Small business is vital to our economy. Our planning should
promote enterprise creation, not oppose it! Thousands of other areas have a thriving small business trade while protecting property values; and we can copy those examples.

Encourage and help small business growth There are loads of federal, state, and regional resources specifically intended to help small businesses start and grow. Most have been in place for decades, yet none of them has been brought to bear on Shenandoah County.

From enterprise zones, rural prosperity, tourism promotion, technology sectors, to business incubators; all of these resources must be available to any of Shenandoah County's citizens. They're existing, paid from other sources, and it costs nothing to take advantage of them.
Streamline bureaucracy
It doesn't take eleven typewritten pages to say, "Letting soil erode away is wrong". Making that statement into a law will take more than 6 words, but common sense seems to have vanished from some parts of our government. Regulations must be short, 'sweet', and to the point.
Protect our Environment
Industry of any kind must be a responsible citizen, and that includes Shenandoah County's soil, water, and air. With the assistance of all citizens, Shenandoah County should develop clear guidelines on industry and the environment, to assist potential firms (large or small) in their business plans.

The current practice uses the environment as an excuse to collect license fees while consuming time, and it's hurting our economy. Government employees should be assisting enterprises, not hindering them, in developing responsible plans that fit both the business and the environment.
Educational partnerships
Modern manufacturers need well-educated people. They need people who understand computers and can use them to control whatever process is being used; people who can take initiative -think independently-- to correct problems or improve processes..

The School Board must be persuaded to accept two-way partnerships with existing industry. Math and science must be applicable to the real-world, so must written and oral communication, and every other subject. On the other hand, the rate of technology changes make it hard for schools to stay up to date. Business can -and should be convinced to-- help our students keep up with current industry practices, equipment, and trends.
Leverage our advantages
Use the best people available to lead Shenandoah County deserves competent people leading our economic development, but the results show little evidence of that. Over half of Shenandoah's economy is local, and we must have responsible, responsive personnel to assist local businesses in every way possible.

Experts on tourism should help promote and direct those efforts, and there are many experienced people already in our community, willing and able to do this. Experienced leaders in manufacturing should help promote and direct those efforts, and there are many qualified people already in our community, willing and able to do this.

Leverage our location "Location, location, location." It's important for more than just real-estate. Shenandoah County is in a unique location to the northern Virginia market; an especially important factor to the tourism industry, specialty and agricultural products.

Regional and state marketing is already funded by outside sources -no grants or applications are needed. Shenandoah County should be using this to target the most likely customer areas.

Turn losses into returns Enormous tracts of National Forest land, about one-fifth of the county, represent millions of tax dollars that could be collected if they were private land. Yet the taxpayers of Shenandoah County have had their over-worked dollars spent buying an old farm; allegedly to create a park attracting non-residents.

Removing more land from taxation is outrageous when twenty percent is already gone. In dozens of other Virginia counties the Forest Service has been happy to create and maintain recreation facilities, mini-parks, and similar improvements. They need to be asked.

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