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Virginia’s climbing debt—–ponder this when you vote November 5th

Guest Column from Bob Shannon of the King William Tea Party

I moved to Virginia 40 years ago and recall at the time the view that Virginia was a fiscally well run State, often cited in numerous financial publications I regularly read. The story they are telling today however is quite a different one. It warrants your consideration when you head to the polls to choose the next King William Board of Supervisors. Here are the daunting numbers

A few years ago the V.R.S ( Virginia Retirement System ) had a deficit of around 10-12 Billion. This is the retirement system for Virginia public employees, ranging from our public schools to the variety of other State employees. That number has climbed to 21.5 billion in just a few short years. The funded ratio ( what does the current monies on hand actually cover ) is 77.1% and puts Virginia in 31st place among the 50 States. The 21.5 billion is the 18th largest deficit among the 50 States, in dollar terms, hardly the fiscal conservative state it was 40 years ago. $2540 would have to be collected from every Virginia resident ( every adult and child) to bring this into a fully funded plan

If one considers the 1 billion Virginia is going to have to find to now cover the cost of Medicaid Expansion ( Federal Funding has now run out) it isn’t hard to see a State Tax Increase coming in the near future. ( Thank you Del. Chris Peace )

Now throw in what we learned here in King William recently about the O.P.E.B ( Other Post Employment Benefits) in the 2017-18 C.A.F.R (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report ) These are supplemental benefits promised to a broad swath of employees here in our 4 schools that have according to this C.A.F.R have not been funded a single dime ! K.W School Board members playing Santa Claus and you are stuck with picking up the tab. If these benefits remain unfunded you can expect your current real estate tax bill to climb even higher in the not so distant future.

Two of our current Supervisors have taken this debt subject on, calling for reductions in spending to attempt to rein in what we all know—–we have a spending problem……..not a revenue problem. Supervisor Bob Ehrhart 5th District has noted that the County has some 26 million in outstanding Bond debt. Ehrhart has called for reining in the spending. Ehrhart took the sacred cow ( school spending ) on when no Supervisor on that Board in the 21 years I have lived here had the courage to do it.

What has his opponent said about this, Candidate Ed Moren —NOTHING. Moren is now running around putting signs atop his campaign signs with the message of LOWER TAXES—VOTE FOR MOREN . Does Moren think the voters are dopes ? Apparently so because he has yet to offer one specific suggestion on just how he plans on lowering the taxes. Moren has however lots of new spending plans

Supervisor Dave Hansen 4th District has voted NO on each of the 4 budgets during his first term because spending was too high. Hansen’ two opponents have not said a single specific word on these topics. “ Voice of the People”……& “ A New Direction” might make for clever campaign slogans but are nothing more than that. Shumaker & Garber are go along to get along guys who will pump even more of your money into bigger budgets and bigger local government.

The growing debt issues are REAL. Bury your heads in the sand, or exercise your brain. Our kids are going to drown if this isn’t reined in. Think about that November 5th when you make your decision.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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