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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Your Home Is Worth Less?

Not To The Government.

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors feels your pain. The members thereof recognize the fact that the housing crisis has dampened the market and, in many cases, made homes worth considerably less than they were worth just a year ago.

But tough cookies. They need money:
Supervisors OK 71-cent property tax rate
Lindsay Key, The Roanoke Times

Chirstiansburg -- Montgomery County property owners can expect to pay 71 cents for every $100 of assessed property next year.

The board of supervisors voted 4-3 Monday night to raise the real estate tax rate by 8 cents and postponed approving the budget until April 28.

Even though a formal public hearing on both topics was March 27, supervisors still heard from concerned residents during Monday's public address period. (link)
Not everyone in Montgomery has lost sight of his priorities, however. There's this response from a local homeowner:

"'It's the worst time for it [a tax rate increase],' said Shawsville resident Steve Fijalkowski, citing rising gas prices and the slump in the housing market."

His plea fell on deaf ears.

Home values are going down. Taxes on those same homes are going up. Your government working for you.

Kiss Those Tourists Goodbye

A Roanoke Times reader has come up with THE solution to the transportation impasse in Richmond. He wants to raise the retail price of gasoline through local taxes to help fund transportation.

Of course the reader also happens to be a former commissioner of the Department of Transportation.

Swell idea. Gas is going to $4.00 a gallon - rapidly. And this guy wants to make it worse for those who have to choose between fuel and food.

And for those tourists we've spent millions to lure to Southwest Virginia?

Well, we'll have nice roads awaiting them. Should they ever show up.

They Don't Care

It was interesting to listen to the buzz around West Virginia during the last Senate campaign pitting Robert Byrd, the 90-year old Democrat whose been in office since the KKK was at its zenith, and ... whoever his opponent was. In short, the words venerable and powerful and champion and sugar daddy were often heard from his constituents. For that reason, it was no surprise that he easily won reelection.

This despite the fact that most people there had a pretty good inkling that the man wasn't all there.

But no matter. He's Robert Byrd. So despite his racist past and his incoherent present, Robert Byrd is West Virginia's senator for all futures.

Which brings to the fore the problem that the voters there have created for themselves and their party:
Uneasy About Byrd Uncertainty
By Paul Kane, Washington Post Staff Writer

Heading into the most critical legislative battle of the spring, Senate Democrats are privately wondering who will lead their fight to pass a $108 billion spending bill for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that will also contain important provisions for stimulating the domestic economy.

Usually, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Robert C. Byrd (W.Va.), would be the Democratic point man on the Iraq supplemental spending request from the White House. But Byrd, at 90 the longest-serving senator in history, has been ill for much of the past year.

That has sparked behind-the-scenes intrigue over his chairmanship of a committee that controls about $1 trillion in annual federal spending. (link)
The reporter, of course, is being kind (which Post reporters are prone to do when referring to Democratic politicians). Robert Byrd has lost his mind. What mind he had left.

So now West Virginians go unrepresented. As was their intent. They love their senator. Be he coherent or not.

Robert Byrd for Senate 2012!

The Kennedys Pay No Estate Taxes?

I pulled two quotes from the following YouTube video in which Ted Kennedy is asked by a reporter why his family - one of the wealthiest on the planet - pays very little in estate taxes:

"The estate tax is the most progressive of all federal taxes. It would be terribly unfair to tax work while giving inherited wealth a free ride." Ted Kennedy

"The Kennedy family avoids the heavy burden of estate taxes by creating numerous trust funds." The New York Times, June 12, 1977.

These guys are all shameless hypocrites.

Click twice on the triangle to activate.
Video courtesy of the
Young Americas Foundation.

A New Term Is Birthed

Obama may forever regret casting aspersions at ...

"bitter churchgoing gun-clingers."

Too funny.