DJ McGuire gives me credit in his post What if you held a tax revolt ... and EVERYONE came ... but the credit belongs to the two men who are listening to the citizens of Augusta County ... Supervisor Tracy Pyles (D-Pastures) and attorney Francis Chester.
Mr. Pyles, who happens to be my supervisor and a Democrat, started this drum beat last fall when the county was preparing to mail tax assessments to county residents. He tried to warn the Board of Supervisors of this impending train wreck but they did not listen. He had personal experience of the pain area residents were feeling as hundreds of jobs disappeared and companies tightened their belts. His company, American Safety Razor, made the blades to cut the carpet that was sold by Mohawk Industries, carpet that Mohawk sold to the housing industry.
Houses aren't selling ... carpet isn't needed for houses that aren't selling ... blades aren't needed to cut carpet that isn't being sold because houses aren't selling ... it's a domino effect that trickles throughout the community. Mr. Pyles saw his company hurting as well as other companies in the area, including Mohawk, that have had to lay off employees.
Francis Chester was on the receiving end of a huge real estate tax assessment. One property increased 255% and another over 100%. He decided to do something about it and started the petition drive to request the Board of Supervisors roll back assessments to the 2004 rate.
Citizens responded to both men and Monday night saw 600 county residents turn out on a cold winter night to hear how their voices could be heard.
Together, Augusta ... we can make a difference!