Secrecy around sales tax not good government

I want to thank Jim Icenhour for his position — published in a Letter to the Editor in Wednesday’s the The Virginia Gazette — that to repeal or deny this new tax proposal is the way to go, not embrace it and give tax breaks to those not affected by it. I do not agree with Ms. Sadler’s approach, also explained in a letter. The BPOL and Machine and Tools taxes do nothing to help offset the sales tax increases put onto everyday workers.

I do not view sales taxes as a tool for advertising private business. If Sen. Norment wants a tax increase so badly, give counties the same taxing authority as cities and we can raise the cigarette tax if desired, but do not increase taxes on individuals to give tax breaks to businesses. We get enough of that from Washington.

I ask you to not forget the sales tax rate 14 years ago was 4 percent and today, as proposed, would be 7 percent. The proposal by my supervisor is not revenue neutral to the individual, and how it can be portrayed that way is an insult to this citizen.

We should not provide tax relief for Williamsburg citizens at the expense of residents of James City County. I know Mr. Norment is good at applying political pressure at times, but in this case, the answer should be a resounding no.

I also am disappointed to read the news accounts that this tax increase was discussed with leaders on the Board of Supervisors and City Council and was not discussed during legislative day, nor apparently during the retreat, although that is unknown since it wasn’t recorded or televised.

The manner in which this measure was proposed and moved forward excluded the very people our elected officials are supposed to represent. It is my understanding that Mr. Norment may have discussed this issue with others on the BOS; if so, they need to do business in the sunlight. Secret meetings are never a good idea in a representative government.

Thank you again Mr. Icenhour and Ms. Sadler, this attempt to give tax breaks to businesses, and fund their advertising at taxpayer expense will not go un-noticed.

Jim Kennedy

James City County

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