Monday, September 15, 2008

Tossing A Theory Out For Discussion

Today's Virginian-Pravda ran a story on the revoked machinery and tools tax hike being an issue in the Mayoral campaign. Yes, the Moss supporters are having a field day in the comments section.

What struck me about the story was the increase itself. The Mayor blames it on City Staff. Okay, let's take that at face value. That leaves the obvious question: Why would City Staff want to increase the machinery and tools tax 90%? The simple answer may be that they wanted more money to spend and didn't give a toss about the economics of such a move.

However, an intriguing theory struck me this morning. Was the intent to tax the small businesses off of Cleveland Street? You have many small companies there with a plethora of machinery and tools, while the City wants to redevelop it as part of the Central Business District. Without a Redevelopment Authority, a punitive machinery and tools tax hike might flush them out. If it was enough to get Stihl to threaten to move, imagine the impact on Cleveland Street.

Granted, I don't have a smoking gun. However, what other City policy aim would have been served by the 90% tax increase?


Anonymous said...

I don't think there is a big conspiracy here at all. The budget people were trying to come up with funding without raising the property tax rate (remember, this is part of Bob Dyer's task force - find more funds that are not the property tax).

I find it comical that Sessoms said that it wouldn't happen on his watch...I haven't done the research, but I bet you the tax rate went up more times than not while he was in office.

As for Moss's alleged "warnings" to the city council, my guess is either he is lying or they just tuned him out as he started his insult-laden tirade. When I am watching council on TV and see him speak, it just plain embarasses me.

Anonymous said...

They should have fired Spore...

Avenging Archangel said...

Anon 7:07,

The Blue Ribbon Task Force would do that by enacting a 1% local Sales Tax and a 1% local Income Tax, not by a 90% machinery and tools tax hike.

Yes, I knew I'd be accused of conspiracy-mongering, but even Hugo Chavez doesn't do 90% tax increases.