Budget time in Bridgewater

It’s budget time in Bridgewater, with a public hearing set for Tuesday, April 17, at 7:30 p.m. at the town hall. Here are highlights from the proposed budget:

  • A one percentage-point increase in the meals tax, going to 6 percent.
  • A cigarette tax of 20 cents per pack.
  • The creation of a stormwater utility and accompanying fee. The town says the fee would start next June and would be about $1 per month for single-family homes. Other properties would pay higher fees.
  • An inflation adjustment of 3.16 percent for water, sewer and sanitation fees.

Here’s a link to the meeting notice and here’s the Shenandoah Journal’s coverage.

4 thoughts on “Budget time in Bridgewater”

  1. I no longer go to those hearings, but here are a few points for those that do. One, we have a conscientious town government and they do things well. Two, we have a highly self-congratulatory town government — if you go to the hearing, be prepared for multiple praises about how good the staff is and how good the council is and how hard everybody worked. Three, they are interested in growth of their budget and tax revenue. They will respond to this year’s revenue loss with tax increases but in the future when revenues shoot up they’ll somehow “find” pressing public needs that prevent lowering taxes then. Four, they have an occasionally weird definition of success. They count it a success when they confiscate people’s property by force (taxation) in order to throw a free Labor Day party or offer free par-3 golf — and people walk up to accept the force-financed gift. Finally, they’re not really interested in your input; they want to pass the budget as proposed. However, they will listen politely. Am I bothered by all of this? No, see point 1.

  2. To me it isn’t a big deal if the Town has a tax-supported Labor Day party or par 3 golf course. “Confiscate people’s property by force” sounds a little strong for ordinary local taxes.

  3. For once I am not in total agreement with Libertarian.
    I personally view the town government as an excellent example of why the federal government should shrink, thus allowing the state and local governments more control.
    Bridgewater’s Council does an excellent job as does the Town Manager. Taxes are low to reasonable, town debt is low, services such as trash, recycling and large junk pickup are done in an exemplary manner. Parks are maintained very well. Think about how quickly the streets are cleaned after a snow storm. A little know fact is that the town has to mow and trim about 180 acres of land monthly.
    A little golf course on useless flood plain land or a labor day party…..who cares.
    The Council, Town Manager and Police Department have good reason to congratulate themselves because they do an excellent job. They don’t get the credit they deserve, after all we could have Elkton’s or Dayton’s Town Council. 🙂

  4. i see your point libertarian. but i think we get better local government if the town does something more than the bare bones you have in mind. for example. the town budget that gets mailed out every year is way more than necessary. nice paper color ink etc. but it gets town officials recognition among their peers. and nobody in the town can honestly say they did not have a chance to look at the budget. in my view a minimum necessary budget disclosure would not be as good.

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