Chesterfield residents debate pros & cons of tax hike

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) –Some Chesterfield residents think a tax-hike could be the county's saving grace, but others say it will solve nothing.

Even on a cold day, Brenda Stewart can get fired up.

"I am against a tax increase at this time," she said.

She says she's researched Chesterfield County and its spending for the last 7 years. She doesn't think the school system deserves one extra cent of local tax dollars.

"They're spending money on interior decorators, they donate money to non-profit education foundations, they're traveling to Florida for conferences," said Stewart. "Money doesn't buy education."

Lisa Borchert thinks it does. Less than 24 hours ago she uploaded a petition: Chesterfield County Residents for a Quality Education. Signers are in support of a tax-rate boost.

"And it's a lot of ask of the county residents, something needs to be done, we're in a crisis state right now," said Borchert.

So far Borchert's received Colleen Krezel's signature and about 40 others.

"I have emailed county leaders and sent letters, and they do respond. All that we can do is hope that they are listening and not turning a deaf ear on their residents," said Krezel.

The goal is to get 1,000 signatures by the time the county talks taxes.

"My suggestion to all those people who think they aren't paying enough taxes, get out your checkbook, there's no limit, write any amount you want, and send it into the county, I'm sure they'll take it," Stewart said.

While Stewart doesn't believe the school system is spending correctly, she does say county leaders are now closely examining where every dollar goes. And this duo says if more money doesn't go to schools, property values will decline; businesses and residents will move away.

"I know it's controversial but it's got to be done in times like this," Krezel said.

The board of supervisors will hold a public hearing on March 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Government Complex. Soon after that the county will set the tax-rate and the budget for next fiscal year.

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