Discretionary Spending by the Prince William BOCS
In discussing discretionary spending there are 3 main issues at stake.
1st and most important, is should we even be spending one dollar of taxpayer money for charities and ventures outside of core government services and enforcement?
2nd is the personal and political gain realized by the supervisors in dispensing this money. Whether it is in the form or public recognition, listings in programs, advertisements, seats or tables at high dollar dinners or any other form of gain, it is wrong, because it was purchased with taxpayer dollars.
3rd is that, this kind of spending is indicative of a much greater problem much like earmarks in the U. S. Congress. It belies a culture of “use it or we lose it” spending, which is totally contrary to fiscal and fiduciary responsibility to the citizens.
How far out of control has this “use it or we lose it ethic” become? Recently a supervisor wanted to donate $100,000-taxpayer dollars to a charity and just last year the board managed to spend nearly $60 million dollar surplus rather than report it out, which might have reduced the available tax base. This board has been committed to increasing the tax base annually by as close to 3% as possible for quite a while.
For all of the hype and hoopla from the board, what have the residents of Prince William actually received in return? More roads, resulting in more houses, more congestion, more schools and again more roads that are paid for by more taxes. Oh yeah, we mustn’t forget we also enjoy the highest county real estate taxes in the entire Commonwealth and the lowest average wages in all of Northern Virginia.
I’ve heard the board referred to as Robin Hood and the band of merry thieves, there is a big difference however, this board doesn’t discriminate, it steals from everyone, rich and poor alike and gives to their favorite causes as well as those of their friends and associates while reaping untold benefits for themselves.
Do the right thing, vote to abolish discretionary (slush fund) spending for other than core services and abandon the “use it or we lose it” spending ethic. For a change, try being as conservative as you try to convince us that you are, at nearly every occasion.