The Virginia Beach City Council successfully executed that two-step manipulation: Pressured the city school board to join in the request for the real estate tax rate increase that council wanted and burying the DeSteph/Moss budget proposal under a substitute motion. Now our Virginia Beach City Council has moved on to the next (creepy – insulting?) manipulation.
Council is now attempting to manipulate the “dupes” – (dupe – a person who is imposed upon or deceived. Dupery – act or practice of duping. So, maybe council’s action is dupery or manipulation. Take your choice.)
The dupes are, of course, you and me – the taxpayers of Virginia Beach. Council now offers a website that shows the real estate tax rate during the last few years – a period during which the rate has been lowered. Not included on the website are the years from 1990 to 2003 when our real estate tax rate increased from $.87 (1990) to the infamous $1.22 (1999 through 2003.)
(And of course you remember that both Mayor Sessoms and Rosemary Wilson were on council during those earlier years and voted for each of those tax rate increases. No wonder, with an election coming in November, they are trying to mislead taxpayers.)
So, our city council is exercising a little dupery (manipulation ?) here. Council is trying to convince citizens that the increase in the tax rate is really not that bad. That might work if most people are unaware of the previous and consistent increases in years past.
Unfortunately, most people are not up to speed on a number of issues. Citizens go quietly about their normal daily living – work, feed the kids, care for them when they get sick, take them to sport activities, help with some homework, and generally go on with family activities. With so much to do, a great majority of citizens of Virginia Beach do not have the time to keep up with our city council decisions.
A few examples of important questions: Light rail referendum issue: What does that phrase “all reasonable” means? What do you know about light rail – what are the costs. Are benefits to all citizens? Are you, citizens of Virginia Beach, ready to vote on a referendum in November that may obligate you to supporting light rail? Many questions. Can you answer any?
Real estate tax rate: Now increased from $.89 to $.95. Because assessments will decrease again next year (according to city 5-year forecast) will council raise our tax rate again next year?
The election referendum: The discussion was: Change the election process so that citizens in each of the seven districts would vote for their candidate and those at large. The candidate would campaign only in his/her district and be able to campaign with less money. Council voted to keep the process as is.
A few questions to my fellow dupes: Would you like to know a lot more about our city council? Would you like to read more about our council and have the opportunity to sit at your computer and type in a question or comment about a city issue? Would you like unbiased, straightforward information you can rely on to help you make decisions without having to spend hours trying to follow council meetings? Would you like to share your concerns with other citizens?
Virginia News Source can be a very valuable source of important information. Either send an e-mail to email@example.com or comment on a blog.
Why not give it a try?