Letter – Fiscal failure by supervisors
Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023
Editor, The Smithfield Times:
Isle of Wight County was ordered to refund International Paper $8.3 million for overpayment of machinery and tools taxes, plus interest!
A circuit court judge ordered Isle of Wight to refund IP $2.4 of overpayment in tax. After knowing that tax assessments for IP were inaccurate, the Board of Supervisors ignored expert advice and hiked M&T tax rates to the exact amount of IP’s $2.4 million refund award. Dishonest at the least, criminal at most, in my opinion, but I digress.
IP sued Isle of Wight all the way up to the Supreme Court of Virginia and won. The Supreme Court stated the machinery and tools tax assessment was non-uniform, invalid and illegal. The Board of Supervisors’ decision to not obey the legal judgment by simply refunding IP the overtaxed amount of $2.4 million cost Isle of Wight taxpayers a whopping $8.3 million!
At a Jan. 18 meeting, Supervisor Dick Grice said at the time he’d thought the county had made a “good judgment” by continuing its efforts to appeal the court-ordered payment. “We thought we were going to win,” Grice said.
Bottom line: Supervisors’ bad judgment caused an unprecedented historical settlement payout to IP. These are not the individuals we want to have oversight of county funds. I don’t pay taxes to see them wasted and misappropriated so nonchalantly.
In today’s economy, in any economy, $8 million could be put to much better use for our children, schools and roads versus continuously raising our property taxes.
Anyone who agrees should seriously consider voting for Tracy Hendrix for Board of Supervisors. A veteran and a parent – no one will work harder for us. No one will care more, and no one is more prepared.