Tax Hike Brings Outspoken Residents

By: Laura Speakman
By: Laura Speakman

After the recent real estate reassessment, the county is proposing a $0.58 cents per $100 tax rate. That's a ten cent increase from the $0.48 cent rate that would be required to offset the reassessment. Close to 100 citizens showed up. They were clapping for those against the tax hike and booed those who were in favor of it. Many want to see the rate go to somewhere between 50 to 53 cents. The majority are concerned where they're going to find the money to pay this increase, but a couple agreed with supervisors on the need to fund increased demands on services.

"I just feel like I'm getting ripped off by Rockingham County," said Lloyd Smith, Rockingham County resident.

"Jobs and employers are not increasing their salaries by 21 percent or 16 percent why don't you do us a favor why don't you forgo your salaries so you can feel the bite as much as we do," said Mike Gray, Rockingham County resident.

"I'm frustrated like the rest of the people we're being taxed to death," said Richard McGregor, Rockingham County resident.

"I really wish you would consider lowering that rate to where we can afford and afford to enjoy something in our retirement years," said Betty Layman, Rockingham County resident.

"Is your mind already made up and we're just going through a charade?" Carl Roberts, Rockingham County resident.

"None of us want to pay anymore than we have to but we also have to look at how we have to meet the budget requirements," said Bill Glosscoes, Rockingham County resident.

"You may feel that this money is just given to the schools but that is not true I see that everyday how many improvements are needed the schools," said Mary Beth Hollbrook.

After that public hearing County Administrator Joe Paxton went on to explain how much schools and other services like fire and rescue, the sheriff's office, and social services are taking a toll on the budget. During that explanation, the crowd almost cleared out. The supervisors will take action on this tax rate in two weeks.

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