You Can Donate to County Gov’t

Conservative Republicans Rob Schilling and Keith Drake say that if you want to support local government, you should donate to their PAC. They’ll pass along to your local government no more than 94% of what you give them, what with transaction fees, the cost of running their PAC, etc. These anti-government crusaders are no doubt looking forward to nobody giving them money, so that they can use that to support their thesis that people are opposed to government. On a related note, if you want to support the Albemarle Truth in Taxation Alliance, write me a check and I’ll give them somewhat less than 94% of it. If I don’t get any money, then we can conclude that nobody wants to support ATTA. As I understand the logic.

If you do want to make a contribution to a government service, you certainly can, and giving directly to government is significantly more efficient than funneling it through the private sector in the form of this PAC. (In this way these two have unwittingly illustrated precisely the opposite of what they intended to.) You can give to a particular program or service —the police K9 program, your child’s school, the library, a park, whatever—and it’s tax deductible. Alternately, you can give to the General Fund, and the county will allocate it to where it’s most needed. Send it to 401 McIntire Road, Charlottesville.

31 Responses to “You Can Donate to County Gov’t”


  • So this is in lieu of raising taxes? We’ll support our public servies through donations?

    ok. I think it’s time to look for the passport.

  • The article mentions people at the BoS meeting requesting to keep higher taxes in order to cover the services.

    Weren’t those people mainly parents of kids in the County School system? (or so I thought I heard in some news article)

    As someone who does not have children I resent those people volunteering everyone else for higher property taxes. If they aren’t happy about the education cuts or any other specific cuts- then they should recommend additional user fees. Perhaps something like 50 to 75 bucks a month for each student attending a county school. With Free Lunch type waivers for people who are financially unable to afford the kids they’ve brought into this world.

    Regardless of my above comments – I think the Schilling/Drake PAC is a dumb idea and pointless exercise.

  • Regardless of my above comments – I think the Schilling/Drake PAC is a dumb idea and pointless exercise.

    And that’s exactly what gets me about it. Nobody would actually believe that this is a good idea. It’s a stunt, one that can only exist if covered by local media. The Progress obliged them.

  • Their stunt – Undercuts – the fundamental point they might have been trying to make… which is

    If you want to pay more than you are currently being taxed… then pony up with user fees instead of volunteering everyone else for higher taxes.

    Schilling would’ve been better off using his radio show to continuously re-enforce that message.

    ** I’m probably drifting into a bit of a rant hear – but I think it’s well articulated **

    It’s like the B.S. you hear about how all the Republicans are incensed that “terrorists” are getting the same judicial benefits/rights that citizens get.

    Without acknowledging the fact that illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S. are given the same judicial benefits/rights that citizens get.

    Or how those same Republicans manage to get their panties in a twist when someone tries to propose hate crime legislation- what do they say – “oh well the person committed murder” why does it matter that the person who was murdered was gay?

    But at the same time those asses are proposing death penalty legislation for people who kill cops, fire marshals.. etc. “Well they committed murder” so why does it matter who they murdered as to whether or not they get the death penalty?

    Hypocrisy is at the heart of Republicanism.

    Fit the argument to the pre-conceived story line that we want to promote.

  • I also think it’s important to note that the Democrats weren’t arguing for higher taxes, but rather that the amount people are taxes remains the same. Assessments went down dramatically, and so raising the tax rate could just bring it up to what it was before.

    My other issue is that some people aren’t paying their fair share in the county. Somehow if you’re rich, you can routinely get massive tax breaks at 50% or more. Likewise iif you’re a land investor/speculator you can buy up hundreds of acres and sit on it for years while paying almost nothing in taxes. Meanwhile all the property held by speculators can create an artificial notion of a shortage of real estate and thus over inflate the prices making housing unaffordable for average people. The speculators are insulated from this effect due to their tax break.

    I’m greatly surprised that people who believe in smaller government and the free market havent rallied against this massive subsidy for the developers.

    As for user fees… If you build homes for 100 new families that wiil bring kids that go to albemarle schools then that cost should be embedded into the cost of those new homes. Instead, when developers are asked to cover merely 30% of the cost of staff time of their applications (and repeated deferrals), they claim its an undo burden.

    Fix those loopholes, and we can lower taxes of everyone else by 10% or more. Lower tazes, smaller goverment… Why aren’t Republicans leading the charge?

  • Having a strong educational system benefits everyone, not just those who have children.
    And Dirt Worshipper is spot on with his comment about the cozy relationship the developers seem to have with local government.
    And think a lot of the anti-tax feeling comes from those who feel strapped by what they have to pay, while others appear to be getting a free ride. Too bad the anti-government ideologues of the Republican Party are using these people for their own agenda.
    What happened to the GOP element that once spoke of the need to rein in “malefactors of great wealth?” That phrase is Theodore Roosevelt’s.

  • I might chip in a few bucks to get Schilling a shave and haircut.

  • “Having a strong educational system benefits everyone, not just those who have children.”

    Agree. Wholeheartedly. But, merely musing, what if, after budget cuts, scholastic achievement took a decided upswing?

  • @ musing: Then, obviously, you keep cutting until you get the down to one big tent that can hold 12,000 kids at, say, the Albemarle County fairgrounds. One teacher, too. (One-room classroom worked for the pioneers, right?)

    @ those who want school fees so they can get a tax break: why stop at education? The police and fire dept can arrive with sirens wailing … and credit card reader ready for prepayment.

    Oh, and if you are to be really fair about educational fees, school kids would need electronic tracking to that those who don’t use the nurse’s office, school psychologist, the AP for discipline, and don’t belong to clubs or play on sports teams, etc., etc. don’t get charged for programs and services that rightfully should be paid ONLY by those who do use them.

    Sheesh!

  • I may be incorrect but couldn’t we always contribute to local guvmint if we wanted? To whatever dept. or school we were interested in? So only the PAC part of this is new?

    I heard today that Kansas City is closing HALF of their schools, 700 laid off.

  • @ musing: Then, obviously, you keep cutting until you get the down to one big tent that can hold 12,000 kids at, say, the Albemarle County fairgrounds. One teacher, too. (One-room classroom worked for the pioneers, right?)

    @Karl Ackerman: Then there is the ridiculous.

  • Quote: “@Karl Ackerman: Then there is the ridiculous.”

    Who defines “ridiculous”? You mean ‘ridiculous’ like the multi-million compensation packages of the EMPLOYED rich and famous, i.e. Stephen Hemsley at the unbelievable cost of human lives?

  • “Ridiculous” means nothing. It’s a moving target. It’s a fad container. Maybe the authors of the US Constitution should have simply written:

    “Be Reasonable, Not Ridiculous, Please!”

  • @ Karl. I do not have to agree with you on point. No way we should charge kids extra for seeking more from school and filling their time with positive activites…

  • I heard today that Kansas City is closing HALF of their schools, 700 laid off.

    Though KC’s schools’ population has dropped by half, so that’s actually logical.

  • That was sarcasm, danpri. The bottom line is that if you want low student-teacher ratios and you want to pay teachers a modest wage (I do), schools are expensive. But here’s a question that relates to costs & efficiencies: why do we still have two school division in Charlottesville and Albemarle? Brian Wheeler believes combining the divisions would save tens of millions of dollars. Isn’t that the savings we ought to insist on first, before increasing class sizes and cutting arts budgets?

    This will never happen without a groundswell of support from parents. Anybody interested?

  • I’m kind of interested. It doesn’t seem to make any sense to have two school systems — that’s two separate administrations, right? Has this idea ever formally been advanced? I can’t off the top of my head imagine any good arguments against it. (I can imagine bad arguments, though, motivated by administrators wanting to keep their jobs). I’m a county parent, for the record.

  • I’ve had kids in the city schools for 13 years. For a number of year, I think there has been a perception in town that arts education is better in the city schools, and that city schools concerns (for closing the achievement gap,for example) might get lost in a consolidated school system. I suspect there are plenty of county parents who would want better arts education in the county. And the county seems to be working pretty hard to close its achievement gap. Moreover, the distinction between city and county kids is blurred given that many of them move back and forth between the jurisdiction. A big hurdle for me, as a city parent considering consolidation, is the county Board of Supervisors. I haven’t attended their meetings, but from a distance this looks like a group that is unwilling adequately funding public schools.

    But surely this conversation still needs to be had. I don’t see a push for it coming from the elected officials or school leaders, except Brian Wheeler.

  • To any taxpayers without children who don’t want their taxes paying for public schools: Please try living in a world where you take no money or services in old age from funds provided by people educated in public schools. Please avoid depending on the skills of people educated in the public schools. Supporting public education through tax monies is a moral obligation for all taxpayers, not just those who currently have children in public schools.

    In so many ways it would make sense to consolidate the city and county schools but given how entrenched the system is I don’t hold out much hope for change. Karl, I am sure each system has strengths but overall they are both systems where middle class kids do very well and where lots of effort is expended on the Achievement Gap. No argument that city taxpayers have been more willing to pay higher property taxes to benefit the schools.Too many AC residents do not share the view I expressed in previous paragraph.

  • @ those who want school fees so they can get a tax break: why stop at education? The police and fire dept can arrive with sirens wailing … and credit card reader ready for prepayment.

    You know that’s the way they used to do it- at least with the Fire Department. If you weren’t paying a subscription to them then they’d only show up to make sure your burning house didn’t catch a nearby subscriber’s house on fire.

    And I would be okay with that as well.

    Why is it Teachers, Police, and Fire departments are the only “socialist/socialism” programs that people want, but say try to do the same thing with health care and half the country seems about ready to crap their pants, have a heart attack and an aneurysm all in one fell swoop.

    Give me Health care reform and I’ll stop complaining about the money from my taxes that go into those other socialist programs.

  • Just Bob wrote, “You know that’s the way they used to do it- at least with the Fire Department. If you weren’t paying a subscription to them then they’d only show up to make sure your burning house didn’t catch a nearby subscriber’s house on fire.

    And I would be okay with that as well. ”

    You know, I would not be okay with that, if only for this reason: lots and lots of kids live with parents who have not made great decisions, and I just can’t see punishing those kids (you know, like letting them die in a house fire) because of their dumb parents. I guess you can call me a socialist.

    And I would be okay with that.

  • Subscription fire service would never work in the modern day- insurance and mortgage companies would basically insist on it. It is probably best delivered by a government.

    Public education is one of the very things that help make this a great country and I happily support it. That said, why is it that if I’m not willing to sign a blank check every year that makes me anti-education. It comes down to trust and I don’t believe the Albemarle School board knows how to run a tight financial ship. Ron Price’s comments were most revealing. Even if they have a surplus (which is possible but doubtful) Price still wants a tax increase. That statement seemed to speak volumes to those who don’t think that the school board knows what frugal means.

  • Cecil,

    I’ve got no problem with Socialists. I was just using my last post to point out the contradictions between what people will accept that is technically “socialist” and what they will fight against – which is also “socialist.”

    I will agree to disagree about public education. I don’t think it’s as good as the invention of sliced bread. I don’t think it adds enough. And I think it lets a lot of people that should never be parents… it lets them off the hook regarding parenting.

    When you enable “dumb parents” to help their progeny to survive, you enable the gene pool to become dumber. Society and the species does not benefit from that.

    Yes I just said/wrote that.

    We’ll agree to disagree.

  • Just Bob, that’s obviously crazy talk. I can’t tell you how many of the kids I grew up with in Albemarle County schools were members of Farmington and other country clubs, and yet many of them were the biggest screw-ups I’ve ever known. Breeding doesn’t make you a good parent either…

    I do think though that we try to bundle too many services under the school system. It’ll never happen, but I wish they’d make school voluntary after middle school, with the option to return at any time and get an education. (We might substitute mandatory vocational training instead). Unfortunately, the current system puts teachers in the position of educating kids who really don’t want to be there so that a huge portion of their time is spent babysitting.

    I also think that if we had a first class mental health and substance abuse treatment system in the United States that it would do wonders for allowing the educational system to do it’s job with less distraction.

    Of course, there’s a huge list of other things that would improve the schools systems that will probably never happen. The biggest of which is that the State and the Feds need to either provide more funding at the State and Federal level or leave education to the localities.

  • I understand the frustration with lousy parenting (of any social class) and all the social and individual ills it creates, and I understand the desire to force, somehow, those parents to do a better job. I’ve yet to see, though, a practical solution to this problem. We’re never going to require people to get a breeder’s license before having children, so therefore we’re always going to have SOME lousy parents and poorly parented children. The question, to my mind, is what do we as a society do with those children? I don’t believe that stripping away the social services that try to make up for parental deficiencies will improve the situation. Parents who don’t feed their kids a healthy breakfast will not transform into parents who serve their kids a healthy breakfast simply by taking away the free/reduced-price breakfast option, for example. Those kids will just come to school hungry, like they did before the free/reduced program was introduced, when their poor and/or lousy parents didn’t give them breakfast.

    Dirt Worshipper, I would embrace your idea of voluntary schooling beyond middle school (or some other cut-off) IF we lived in a society that offered any kind of meaningful, stable, remunerative work options for people with high school or sub-high school educations. That, to me, is the bigger problem — the gutting of blue collar, industrial, manufacturing jobs in this country. Kids who drop out at the middle school level don’t have an economic option beyond hourly employment at Wal-Mart. Which is no way to rebuild the middle class. Which is what I think really has to happen in the U.S.

  • Dirt Worshipper wrote:

    Just Bob, that’s obviously crazy talk.

    Just Bob Wrote:

    We’ll agree to disagree.

    I can’t tell you how many of the kids I grew up with in Albemarle County schools were members of Farmington and other country clubs, and yet many of them were the biggest screw-ups I’ve ever known. Breeding doesn’t make you a good parent either…

    And isn’t amazing how having loads of money will allow you to buy your kids, or yourself (to the point of hiring someone else to do your parenting for you- Nannies, tutors etc), out of any number of problems.

    I also think that if we had a first class mental health and substance abuse treatment system in the United States that it would do wonders for allowing the educational system to do it’s job with less distraction.

    That would require Health Care Reform. Or as the Republicans (wrongly in my opinion) put it- Socialized Medicine. As it is- the mental health aspect of any insurance policy is inadequate for anyone that seriously needs it. It’s there only as a profit point- because so many people in this culture will fight to deny that they need any thing that even suggests mental health.

    Cecil wrote:

    We’re never going to require people to get a breeder’s license before having children, so therefore we’re always going to have SOME lousy parents and poorly parented children.

    Money wouldn’t fix that either- since rich people are always able to (generally speaking) buy themselves out of whatever problem they’re having.

  • Type-o.

    I should’ve put some sort of break between my quote and Dirt Worshippers quote which followed my quote.

    Oh well.

  • Thank you to the Progress and to the citizens for exposing this for what this is, a chance for a few to get attention they crave and their hatred for IMPACT. Why else would so much attention be put towards copying a group that they publicly have condemned. To Mr. Schilling, you lost, and by a large margin. Why did you loose? Because you did not contribute. Because you did not take advantage of a great opportunity that few have in Cville. To not be part of the democratic machine and to be able to change policy. You are not the 6th Councilor you are the guy who came in last based on your performance as an elected official. If you have ideas, or differing opinions, share them respectfully and be part of the conversation. You are not Glenn Beck or Rush L. you are the guy who lost at a time that the democrats had a weak hand. Deal with it. And if you need to change the way we handle government, come to City Council, the Board of Supervisors, write a letter, organize a meeting, be part of the solution. Stop being part of the problem.

  • You are not Glenn Beck or Rush L.

    Actually as a local radio talk show host… He is.. the local versions anyway. Him and “Joe Thomas”.

  • Majung
    Mar 11th, 2010 at 2:15 pm
    “Ridiculous” means nothing. It’s a moving target. It’s a fad container. Maybe the authors of the US Constitution should have simply written:

    “Be Reasonable, Not Ridiculous, Please!”

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