Taxation Without Representation

The burning issue in Floyd County right now is taxes, as in too much. The county board is raising personal property and real estate taxes to try and make up for shortfalls in state and federal revenue sharing.

The car tax is scheduled to go up, in effect, 120 percent next year. While the actual percentage increase is 37 percent, the realized increase will be more than 120 percent because the car tax reimbursement rate is frozen at 1997 levels.

What all this means is that the personal property tax on a $20,000 car will increase from $138.80 to $294.80. That’s a lot by any measurement and the increase brought more than 100 angry county citizens to a public meeting the other night. They gave the board an earful.

?Instead of sticking your snoot up in the air, you need to stick it down on the floor and ask God to help you,” said county resident Billy Pratt. “Floyd County is full of hypocrites. Some of you think you?re Almighty God.?

We have homes in Floyd and Arlington County. Arlington County is one of the richest counties in Virginia, but our personal property taxes there are less than half what they are in Floyd County. Real estate taxes are lower as well.

?My taxes went up 30 to 40 percent last year,” Bobby Huff said. “In Franklin County, it went down. A tax bill on a car for $400 here is $250 in Franklin.?

A couple of centuries ago, a ragtag group of tax protestors went to war against England over something called taxation without representation. It was called The American Revolution.

May be time for a new one.

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