Letter – Isle of Wight needs retail

Published 4:28 pm Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

We can all agree on the amount of current housing development occurring in Isle of Wight. Just imagine if Isle of Wight had a retailer that sold building supplies and those builders were required to purchase an agreed upon number of materials from within the county when constructing these developments. 

The additional money collected from Isle of Wight County’s 1% sales tax could be used for schools and other infrastructure needs. Instead, that money is leaving Isle of Wight and funding surrounding cities like Suffolk, Chesapeake, Newport News and Hampton. 

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Bills have been introduced to allow counties to impose up to 1% sales tax with money going to school improvement. There are an estimated 40,000 people in Isle of Wight. That means they are leaving the county to shop in surrounding cities. That means the sales tax is supporting everyone but Isle of Wight. 

A large part of the traffic problem citizens complain about comes from people leaving and returning to the county when shopping. It is time for the Isle of Wight Economic Development to bring new retail to the county.


Richard Foster