Martinsville City Councilman James Clark has a plan for the City after successfully negotiating a budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Speaking with the Martinsville Bulletin he said, "I am a little disappointed this year in the budgeting process. We're asking our citizens to pay more and more." He continues by asking one more thing from the citizens of Martinsville,"do what you can" to help the city generate as much tax and utility revenue as possible, such as by not leaving the city, according to the Bulletin article by Mickey Powell.
The City's new budget increases electric utility rates by 10%, and water and sewer rates by 50% each. The budget includes a 15% hike in the real estate tax, an almost 10% increase in trash pickup service, the auto license fee increases by 45%, and finally, the meals tax gets a bump up of another 1%, which means that a meal in the restaurants in the City will be taxed at over 10%. The City has set aside over $300,000 to provide for the planned purchase of the Adlephia Cable franchise in Martinsville and Henry County. It is hoped by some that the revenue gained from operating the cable system will be adequate to offset some of the tax and fee increases.
The above paragraph outlines all the various tax increases that were required to balance the City's budget. In the interest of fair and balanced reporting, this paragraph will describe all the painful cuts made to the budget.
Mr. Clark and the City Council are asking a lot. And he's pleading please don't leave, as he waits for the citizens of Martinsville to answer the Council's request. Perhaps that suggests what he thinks their answer may be.