Saturday, April 19, 2008

MANASSAS CITY COUNCIL BUDGET MEETING

MANASSAS CITY COUNCIL BUDGET MEETING
April 21, 7:30PM

The Manassas City Council will hold a public hearing on Monday, 21 APRIL at 7:30PM in the City Council Chambers for citizens to discuss and comment on the coming year's budget.

While as good citizens we are willing to pay our fare share of taxes, we expect our elected officials to use those funds for the betterment of our community, and not to promote their own political agendas. We expect our elected officials to reduce or eliminate the funding of none essential projects when there is an unexpected shortfall. We expect our elected officials to tighten up, just as we do in our own homes when we are short on money.

The Manassas City Council members are not planning to use our money wisely!

In Monday's Journal Messenger (14APRIL08), on the back of section A, the Manassas City Council and the City Manager outlined the new budget and all of the proposed tax increases. Of course, you have to be a CPA to decipher it, but it leaves out that political grandstanding programs were left in and are funded in this budget.

We know that funds derived from our local taxes are lower than last year primarily because property values have decreased so much. There are many reasons for that. But because of the decrease, the City will have fewer monies for planned projects. We need to know what those projects are because residents are feeling the pinch, too.

Some have taken out home equity loans and mortgages that now eclipse the value of their homes. Many two income households now run on a single income or less. And if you think, "So what, they deserve it!" You are not living in reality. Every foreclosed or abandoned home in your neighborhood affects YOUR property value. YOUR pocket.

The City proposes to raise the tax rates on real property (your home) 6.3% plus increase personal property taxes. Add to the those taxes, increases in electric, water, sewer and a host of other services and fees, ordinary citizens will have to struggle to keep their heads above water. And let’s not forget coming state increases and federal increases.

Please come to the public hearing to let the Manassas City Council know that while we will support the increase put forth to fund additions to the Fire and Rescue Services and want to support our schools, there are proposed items that we believe do not serve our community and do not warrant funding. There are numerous items that can be eliminated from the proposed budget or at least deferred till next year ... or later.

TELL THE CITY COUNCIL TO TAKE ANOTHER LOOK!!

One item that stands out is the funding for the Section 287(g) program which is the ICE proposal that has us embroiled in a multi-million dollar lawsuit with the Equal Rights Commission (NRC). The cost to fight it, and the burden if we lose, will be borne by us, the residents.

We have witnessed the chaos ignited by the actions of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Do we want that for Manassas? Immigrants have already fled our city in massive numbers. We know this by the decreased enrollment in our public schools, the homes that have been abandoned and the number of unoccupied apartments and declining businesses.

The Help Save Manassas group's wish has been granted! The threat of racial profiling and intimidation has run many in the immigrant population from Manassas (illegal and legal). There is no need to fund 287(g). It is hoped that if we drop this proposal, perhaps the NRC will drop their suite and spare us having to pay over $2 million dollars.

JOIN US MONDAY at 7:30P FOR THE BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING. LET THE MANASSAS CITY COUNCIL KNOW THAT WE DO NOT SUPPORT THEIR RAISING OUR TAXES WITHOUT THEM DOING THEIR DUE DILIGENCE AND EXERCISING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY.

Tell the City Council that 6.3% is too high. Tell them a 2.3% increase is all that's needed. We need them to stand against the politically motivated proposals and do what is right with our money. Do what is right for Manassas City.

We'll be at:
Manassas City Hall in Old Town Manassas9027 Center Street (see link)Manassas, VA 20110
http://www.manassascity.org/index.asp?NID=433

information courtesy EJ ScottChair, Manassas/Manassas Park Cities Democrats Vice Chair, VADC 703/368-4541www.ManassasCityDemocrats.com

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