Woofter: a fresh voice in Richmond

I see all of humanity as being in a big parade marching towards a better life. But where are we now? Are we marching backwards?

Four hundred years ago (with the first meeting of the General Assembly, then known as the House of Burgesses), Virginians took the first step towards the democratic representation that we experience today.

I am a Christian and an American military veteran; however, I am very disappointed in what we see as government today. Government should serve its people, be its people and inspire its people. The greed, the corruption and the political tribalism hurts my ethical and patriotic soul to its core.

The other day, I heard a young lady (a new generation) who became a breath of fresh air. She will listen to people like me. I want to conserve what we have now and make it work more efficiently (I mean conserve, the root word to being conservative). I want to progress when solving problems (I mean progress, the root word to being progressive).

I guess I am one of the 50 percent of Americans who are independent voters (who do not completely trust either party), but I want to give the next generation a chance in order to change our mess.

I am an old white man but I want compassionate and decent government: I support Jennifer Woofter for the House of Delegates in the 22nd District.

WAYNE CRONE

Lynchburg

Virginia’s not Pennsylvania

Property taxes fund our educational institutions. As your property values appreciates, your cost of educating a student also increases. As it declines, so does your cost of educating a student. This is what our property taxation process teaches us.

Be thankful for your new assessment. It may not be accurate (what finished basement?), but at least it is not 40 years old.

Some counties in Pennsylvania haven’t done property assessments in 40 years. It’s too much work; and too expensive. Since they have plenty of economists and mathematicians who are products of their education systems, it is a simple matter to formulate a multiplier which brings your 1969 assessment to an approximation of today’s fair market value. The multiplier, or common level ratio (CLR) is essentially an average ratio obtained by comparing the sum of annual sale prices of properties in a county, to the sum of the 1969 assessed values.

Butler County (35 minutes north of Pittsburgh on I-79) recently released its new CLR as 10.74. What that means is, the home you purchased 40 years ago for $60,000 is now assessed at $644,400. Add the millage rates of the three taxing authorities in Butler County and multiply it by this calculated fair market value, and you have your annual property tax. A 1.42 percent tax rate yields the annual property tax of $9,150.00.

In fact, the cost of educating a student is fixed, save the additional cost of inflation or cost of living adjustment from one year to the next.

Property tax is a crony capitlalist scheme between the education system, and corrupt state and local governments which ensures the perpetuation of those governments, as well as our failing education system. It also punishes unfairly, property owners who are unable to maintain their property values in accordance with “the Joneses.”

Pennsylvania state legislators have been kicking the property tax can down the road for over 30 years. Any truly reformist representative will find himself on the outside looking in. I recently took a ride through rural Pennsylvania. She is really beginning to show her age.

WILLIAM MILLER

Forest

Out-of-place development

I offer my thanks to The News & Advance for the Aug. 8 editorial about the situation with the Villa Maria property. It is gratifying to get some media attention to this story.

In this piece, however, and its predecessor news article, the paper has consistently misstated the number of townhouses planned for the school property in this ill-conceived development. The true number is 53 on about six acres of the eight-acre property, not 51, as you state.

This editorial also errs in implying that the only opponents to this huge development are the deep-pocket inhabitants of the Villa Maria house. The entire Krise Circle/Villa Road neighborhood has risen up in horror at the effect this will have on their property values, in particular the ten people like me whose property is contiguous with the school property.

J. WILLIAM GREEN

Lynchburg

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