Everyone, it seems, talks derisively about government and politicians, particularly when it comes to spending taxpayer money and breaking promises. Many governmental officials — whether they be local, state, or federal leaders — have brought such justified criticism upon themselves.
The Mount Airy Board of Commissioners, however, has shown once again it is made up of people who have a realistic grasp of the fact that they are representatives of their constituents, charged with responsibly spending taxpayer money and, hopefully, figuring out ways to spend less of that money.
The board said some months ago it wanted City Manager Barbara Jones to present a budget that cut at least one, and hopefully, two cents from the city’s 58 cents per $100 of assessed valued tax rate. This week, several of the commissioners said that not only do they want to see a reduced tax rate this year, but the move is part of a larger strategy to lower the city’s tax rate by as much as 10 cents. Dropping the rate by a penny or two is more a symbolic gesture, working to drop it by what could eventually amount to 17 percent is a significant cut, and one which few governments of any level would attempt.
Some may say the city’s rate was already too high, so it’s no big deal to see the city work to lower the rate. Regardless of whether one holds that opinion or not, it is extraordinary, in this day of spend all you have and then some, to see an elected body work at reducing taxes to that degree.
And residents of Mount Airy are fortunate to have such leaders in office.