As an elected official of Roanoke County, I would like to state my disappointment with the local press as they continue to echo Governor McCauliffe’s claim that we have a BALANCED BUDGET in Virginia, and in fact there may end up even being a surplus.
The national, state and local governments COULD NOT pay their bills each month if they did not borrow money. It is deceiving to tell our citizens that their state and local governments are operating on a “balanced budget”. If nothing else, the media should explain that a “balanced budget” ONLY means that you are able to pay your bills every month. If a household had to borrow money or use a credit card every month just to pay its bills, would we consider that household fiscally responsible or operating on a balanced budget?
The state of Virginia according to the State of Virginia DEBT CLOCK has a $66 BILLION debt. Currently the debt in Roanoke County is about 170 million and counting… plus we have distributed some of our debt to the 8 Authorities that have been created and operate outside of the oversite of elected officials. This debt is not even “officially counted”. In reality Roanoke County and the State of Virginia do not truly operate on a balanced budget.
If you counted the debt of the several local governments in SW Virginia (Roanoke City and County, Salem, Botetourt, Montgomery County and Franklin) and then added the debt of the 8 “Authorities” that these governments have created which also have debt, we have about $1.5 BILLION worth of debt.
It is time for honest reporting on this issue.
Roanoke County Supervisor – Hollins District