I write this letter in regard to the recent decision by the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors to advertise a 6 cent increase on the real estate tax rate. To state that many find this action to be abhorrent and inconceivable would be quite the understatement.

Certain board members referred to balancing the budget this year as “challenging” and “difficult.” It should be neither.

Consider the fact that recently almost 400 people lost their jobs due to an industry shutdown.

Consider the fact that the local economy is and will, unfortunately, continue to be severely impacted by the ongoing pandemic.

While this economic upheaval continues to grow, our local leaders choose to foment the dilemma and add to the already palpable apprehension of citizens. Data clearly states that 78% of workers live paycheck to paycheck. Unemployment benefits cover but a fraction of laid-off worker’s previous salary.

Clearly, the supervisors’ decision on the budget should have been an unequivocal and unanimous “no” to any and all additional spending and ensuing tax increases, at least for the time being. Instead, they will once again patronize the special interest to which the majority of tax revenue is always directed.

I was recently asked if I thought these supervisors have a conscience. My reply then and my assertion now remains one and the same. Greed and selfishness have no conscience.

Michael Wakeman, Edinburg