Letter: Mine was a ‘straightforward proposal’

I am responding to Amy J. Burnett’s letter [“Noble? Not really,” April 12]. I attended the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors’ meeting April 2 and presented a suggested sample form to the board for their consideration. My thought was that such a form could be used as an insert to the county’s annual tax bill allowing any taxpayer to voluntarily increase their remittance to the county treasurer. My exact wording on the presented form was, in part, “Many county residents have indicated that they would welcome property tax increases, to support county programs. Some have even lamented the fact that the county has had no tax increase in several years. Why not think out of the box and give them the individual opportunity to financially express their generosity? If they are sincere, and there is no reason to doubt it, this could result in a substantial windfall.”

I never mentioned anyone by name. To do so would have been presumptuous and inappropriate. The article [“Proposed tax rate rise is 5 cents,” April 5] mentioned residents’ names in its coverage of my above suggestion. That was the choice of the reporter, not mine. The “honorable” or “noble” adjectives applied to the potential voluntary increases, certainly not to the paying of actual taxes due. It’s quite amazing how such a straightforward proposal could become so misconstrued.

I might also add that it is our civic responsibility to ensure that our elected county officials conduct themselves in a fiscally responsible manner, not to simply pay whatever tax they choose to  bill us. Maybe 5 cents (an 8.6 percent increase) isn’t enough. Then again, maybe it’s just too much for what we will get in return.

Michael A. Cioffi

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