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Letters to the editor for Sept. 23, 2021

Letters to the editor for Sept. 23, 2021

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Do the math on tax cut

Are you listening to Glenn Youngkin’s promise to repeal Virginia’s sales tax on groceries — and salivating over all the money you will save? The new things you will buy? Not so fast. The average Virginia family of four spends an average of $9,744 on food every year. Repealing the current 2.5% sales tax would result in an annual savings of $243 for that family. Per person, it’s a savings of a little less than $61 per year.

“We’re going to go to work and cut costs for Virginians — starting by eliminating the burdensome grocery tax,” he tweets. Burdensome? I wonder if Youngkin realizes that $61 annual savings will hardly buy a new pair of tennis shoes?

Some years ago, Virginians were misled by another Republican gubernatorial candidate named Jim Gilmore, who insisted that repealing the automobile tax was the path to prosperity in Virginia. Years later, his unworkable proposal is still highly debated across both sides of the aisle in Richmond — with almost everyone concluding that it just can’t be done. Taxes and government budgets are a dicey proposition.

Whatever your political views, I challenge you to do this: whenever any politician starts talking about repealing or reducing taxes, ask him or her what programs will be cut or reduced to accommodate this change of income. Just as you could not accommodate your current lifestyle with a reduction of your own salary, so can government not support its current programs and services with a cut in taxes. It’s that simple.

So, when you hear Glenn Youngkin promising to put more dollars in your wallet — understand how few dollars those really are. Then ask him what gets cut to do it.



Police need higher pay

A recent article by a local media outlet discussed police pay in the region. Danville announced they are raising their starting pay for police officers to $45,333. That is a little over five thousand more than Lynchburg and nearly three thousand more than Roanoke. It is substantially more than most of the sheriff’s offices in the region as well.

Danville’s City Manager stated “if you want to have the best police department, the best and most professional workers who are out there working in the community every day, you have to pay them appropriately,” said Ken Larking. How refreshing to hear that.

We are witnessing an exodus of law enforcement officers in our region’s localities. The low pay for officers will not sustain a professional law enforcement presence in our communities. Now, more than ever, residents in our local communities need to press the issue of better law enforcement pay to their respective councils or board of supervisors.




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