A Reason Behind Proposed Tax Rate

By: Laura Speakman
By: Laura Speakman

"When it's this time of year I get that kicked in the stomach feeling when I know the supervisors are setting to get in our pockets again," Carl Roberts, Rockingham County Resident.

A sentiment echoed by many, fighting against the proposed real estate tax.

Residents want to see the tax rate set between 50 and 53 cents per $100. Right now the proposal is for 58 cents. County officials say there's a reason for that.

"I think that most of the public is very upset with the way things are going in the entire country and when something happens in their localities it multiplies," said Mike Breeden, chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors.

Breeden says he understands fuel and other costs have gone up for residents, but they've also gone up in the county.

"I understand where they are coming from but what bothered me most about last night is that we had to do it in a two part but people did not take the time or have the desire to stay for the second part which explained the budget here's what we're setting the rate on but here's what we're spending it on," said Breeden.

More than 70 percent of the budget goes towards schools paying more for school bus fuel, teachers' salaries, and renovating and building new schools. As far as the extra left over after all services are taken care of? Breeden says the county can't operate in the red.

"I operate a business and I know we need a reserve for unexpected expenses and a county's a business in that sense," said Breeden.

He says this tax rate is not a done deal. The board will consider the comments from last night and look at the tax rate with the budget. They hope to make a decision at the end of the month.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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