Posted Sunday at 7:53 PM
Christiansburg Town Council will meet with the County Board of Supervisors on Monday at 7:30pm. That meeting is public, even if it is not included on the town's website. Perhaps the agenda will include the bang for the buck Christiansburg property owners will get for paying $1.02 per hundred of assessed value (as determined by the county).
Council meets again on Tuesday and will hold the first of two public hearings on the July 2013-June 2014 budget. That budget calls for increasing retail business license fees, gas and electric consumption taxes and the annual price hike in water and sewage charges.
Christiansburg's budget process was not open prior to 2007, and wasn't online until 2009 when the town's website was expanded. And the budget process continues to slide out until the 11th hour, with adoption just weeks away from a mandated deadline (other government officials manage to get this done sooner, with more time for public awareness).
Readers are challenged to identify a single year where fees and/or taxes weren't increased. This year meals and lodging taxes got through without another jump, yet are still some of the highest in the state.
Readers are reminded that there has been a freeze on new positions, and most employees haven't seen pay raises that kept up with inflation, much less insurance or retirement costs - although there was enough "rainy day" money laying around to purchase land for a new (unplanned) park.
Council is challenged to adopt a budget that meets existing needs while planning for future needs, and then getting out of the way to allow administrators to conduct the town's business as defined by this budget.