To the Editor and to those who produced the fireworks in Marlinton:
I was at the football field sitting on the bleachers on the night of July 4, 2017.
It seemed to take a long time before they started. I was running around when they did. I raced back to the bleachers to watch.
There were red and blue ones, gold ones, sparkly ones and green ones, too. Big ones, small ones, loud ones, as well. But I loved them all, and I think everyone else there did, too.
Thank you for the wonderful, amazing, awesome show.
Since I have had little contact with the county Board of Education during my 40 years in Pocahontas County I am not qualified to reply to the criticism expressed by some respondents to the Building Consensus Committee, but having grown up on Cabin Creek I do know a little about being educated in a one-room school with students in grades 1-8 – one teacher and a potbellied stove. Our only problem was having enough firewood.
Thankfully, the generous funds from the SBA will help alleviate the high school sewage problem, but ironically the levy failure may actually cause the concerns expressed by questionnaire respondents to occur. Being mugged by reality might – hopefully – change enough voters to pass a future levy.
For months our County Commission has known that the proposed Resort Area District Act at Snowshoe Mountain could (and most certainly will result in) increased property taxes for every tax paying citizen. The commission’s counsel was shown the law. It is irrefutable.
The Resort Area District provides for 4 things (among others):
1) The creation of a separate, extra constitutional general interest governing body whose majority is controlled by the proxy of foreign corporate interests, none of whom are required to be eligible to vote in Pocahontas County or even in West Virginia.
2) The creation of piggy back sales taxes paid for in principal by visitors within the resort community which creates a source of funding – along with other sources – for a budget.
3) The law allows massive borrowing to accomplish objectives of the Resort Area District according to the law which includes the acquisition through ownership or lease virtually every non-money making operation of the resort – potentially all maintenance, administrative, non-profit making facilities such as parking lots, roads, conference facilities, common areas in the village, swimming pools, lakes, beaches or anything they purchase or lease outside of the resort – equestrian facilities, golf courses, and personal property related to the function of these activities – such as a police force, transportation system, public safety items equipment or facilities. You name it, it is eligible to be owned, operated, or leased by the Resort Area District (§7-25-3(c)2&3.)
4) As soon as it is owned, or leased by the resort area district, it pays no property taxes to the state or any of its subordinate subdivisions, provided it is not a money maker for the resort operator – like ski lifts or ski trails. §7-25-19(c) “The property, including leased property of the resort area district…are exempt from taxation by the state of West Virginia and other taxing bodies of the state.”
Yet the commission’s counsel said there would be no effect on taxes in the County. Can you really remove all of the existing revenue from a profit making corporation operating in the county without further denying needed funds to operate both the county government and our school system? The real answer is that there will be created a funding shortfall if the Commission grants property tax relief, including the school taxes, under the existing Resort Area District Act – A shortfall that can only be made up by cuts in services or additional taxes on all other tax payers and residents.
While I fully expect a sugar coated response from the RAD proponents, I know far too well that you do not include capabilities within a law if you do not intend to use them. Particularly if you are the one who is paying for its construction and passage by the legislature. I believe it is duty of the Commission to carefully research what could happen under this law – what this law was designed to – could – enable the resort operator – who controls the government by law – to do, and report it to the people. Especially since they have created this believed to be false information as reported by The Pocahontas Times, this should be done before they act on this proposal. They have the time. Will they demonstrate the will?
This taxpayer would like an honest response.