SCOTT DREYER: Roanoker Fed Up With Outrageous City Taxes/Fees Circulates Petition

Roanoke native Jeff Hayslett is a man with a mission.

His personal motto, which he says anyone is free to use, is “Let the Star City Shine Again.”

From news reports he has observed violent, dysfunctional cities like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Portland, and many others, and sees a disturbing trio: high taxes, high homelessness, high crime.

Alarmed, he sees his beloved hometown lurching down that same destructive path. Plus, in addition to the terrible triad, there is a fourth commonality. Those cities are run by Democrat politicians. (On Roanoke City Council, there is only one independent member: Stephanie Moon Reynolds. All the rest are Democrats. No Republicans.)

The homelessness and crime are reaching alarming levels in Roanoke City. The fifth murder since New Year’s Day occurred in the Grandin Village 7-Eleven this week. Since this is only mid-April, that means the Star City is averaging more than one killing per month!

As reported here, Senators Mark Warner (D) and Tim Kaine (D) came to Roanoke last week to take a victory lap with City Council at the announcement of a new bridge over the Roanoke River on the Greenway. Seemingly unbeknownst to those celebrants, just a few yards away, in the Smith Park public men’s restroom, a white male was lying on the floor in the toilet stall.

The Wal-marts in Southeast and at Valley View Mall now take precautions never before seen in the Valley: shaving cream, razors, ladies’ skin cream, and other low-dollar hygiene items are now in locked cabinets that require a staff member to unlock to give to a shopper.

Regarding taxes, Roanoke City has the highest property taxes in the entire region. The City charges a whopping $1.22 per $100 in value. Hayslett claimed that is the seventh-highest tax rate in the Old Dominion. He also adds, not only are the taxes high, but the fees are high too, and those too are a kind of tax, because they are mandatory.

The City used to offer “free” trash and recycling pick up. (Well, “free” in that property taxes covered it.) But now, the City charges about $109 per year per household for normal trash pick up. Plus, there is a “rainwater fee” that runs between $100-$200 per year, depending on the size of one’s driveway, etc.

In case any renters think “That’s the landlord’s problem,” they should realize all those taxes and fees are just passed on to renters via higher rent.

Hayslett claims Salem charges the second-highest tax, at $1.20 per $100. However, Salem has a reputation for better civic services than Roanoke has. “On the TV news I don’t see much about murders and drug busts in Salem,” Hayslett added.

As reported here, Roanoke County recently announced they are cutting taxes from the earlier rate of $1.09 to $1.06. Bedford County, according to Hayslett, only charges 50 cents per $100 of value, but Bedford plans to cut that rate even lower.

Hayslett, unwilling to stand by idly while his beloved hometown slips further into chaos, is taking a stand. Upset by the high taxes and fees Roanoke City charges, he has been circulating a petition to protest those confiscatory practices. He has been going door to door for months, seeking signatures only from property owners. He said, due to people not being home, unwilling to open the door to a stranger, or meeting people who rent, he has to knock on about 100 doors in order to get about 20 signatures.

Still, he is determined to meet as many people as he can and has gotten signatures from all four quadrants of the City. He plans to take them to City Hall for the City Council meeting on Thursday, April 27, and show them to the Council members and request changes. Hayslett is registered to be the first person to speak that night.

Hayslett has invited other concerned City property owners to contact him if they want to add their name to the petition. In addition, concerned citizens can attend Council meeting on April 27 to support the cause by their presence or to sign up to speak.

Hayslett’s phone number is 540-309-9480. Serious inquiries only.

–Scott Dreyer

Scott Dreyer at Bryce Canyon
Scott Dreyer M.A. of Roanoke has been a licensed teacher since 1987 and now leads a team of educators teaching English and ESL to a global audience. Photo at Utah’s iconic Bryce Canyon. Learn more at DreyerCoaching.com.

 

 

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