Merriam-Webster dictionary defines BS (bulls!@#) as nonsense; especially: foolish insolent talk and an instance of absurd action.
Some may be offended by the word that is hard to find a substitution for so I will use BS throughout the following, although I will say that the famous columnist Dave Barry used the full word in one of his pieces about BS. Yes, he used the entire word not just the acronym.
It is just that in my mind there is no other word that describes the upcoming (November 5) vote for or against the “Meals Tax.” And I am not alone, On the Village News Facebook page, 14 people said no to the meals tax and shared it with 1,130 others; ranking only number 7 behind the VN page record reach of 20,028 for our April snowfall post.
Our Bermuda Supervisor and Chairman of the Board was against it before she was for it “I think it puts an undo burden on our restaurant owners’” she said during the April 10 BOS meeting. The Board vote was 5-0 on the tax. I think that Ms. Jaeckle was correct in her original statement, but I think her later vote was based on the lobby of the Budget and Audit committee.
But two weeks earlier, the committee didn’t know “how to sell” the tax to the voter, especially when they didn’t know how the revenue would be used. ”We can’t sell it as going into the general fund” but the committee expressed that the capital bonanza should go to schools – at least at that point. The Circuit Court must approve the meals tax before it goes on the ballot.
“[A] prototypical example of BS is the fish story and the sex story,” according to Walter J. Ong, in his book ‘Fighting for Life: Contest, Sexuality, and Consciousness.’ “BS usually concerns the one that got away; and the one that didn’t. This BS aims to enhance the speaker’s reputation as a sportsman or a lover and in the process entertain the audience. It differs, however, from tall tales or fairy stories (although it may be as true) in that it purports to be the truth; it aims at belief, not the suspension of disbelief. Part of the game is to speak so convincingly that the audience believe the BS and thus not only enhance the speaker’s reputation as a fisherman or ladies’ man, but also enhance his reputation as a skilled BSer. The truth of the account is secondary to the credibility that the speaker wins. The highest compliment, and most derogatory insult, that can be given to such a person is that he is “full of s!@#.”
So after more thought and possibly backroom haranguing it was decided that yes the Board would proceed with a Chesterfield County Schools Bond Referendum, which we knew was coming separately from the meals tax and would, if approved by the Circuit Court, be on the November ballot.
Here’s how the staff paper presented, through Board direction, read:
“Chesterfield County has accumulated a sizable list of capital needs (building funds) within the County’s most vital service areas, including aging school facilities and a public safety radio and data system that must be replaced in order to maintain seamless communication among first responders. Accordingly, this paper requests authorization of a resolution that would begin a process that would ultimately ask the voters whether or not they would consider the imposition of a meals tax that would directly support the financial costs associated with the revitalization of school facilities and the replacement of the public safety radio system.”
I love the idea of more cash headed to schools, but doesn’t the schools referendum of $304 million already address that? The idea of a new radio system for public safety is probably a good idea as well. But where did that come from?
Up to 4 percent on meals to pay for more school facilities, when we’re voting on facilities capital already. Why not pump up the referendum if it doesn’t cover school improvements and put the meals tax revenue into reducing the pupil/teacher ratio? The radio system, I seriously know nothing about. Do you?
This kind of stuff smacks of BS and aggravates me to death. Why a meals tax when it affects only those who crave a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich once in a while and they never get the 10 piece nuggets because they don’t have kids.
A couple of cents of the property tax would have the same affect. Oh, but property tax is offensive. The Board coddles to those folks that can’t afford $100 a year on there $200K house (That’s a meal or two out each week for a year in meal taxes.) I guess we’d rather be nickeled and dimed to death to gain the $16 million a year (at 4 percent) the meals tax could raise.
Why inflict a BS meals tax on Chesterfield citizens just because the General Assembly said they could or because Henrico decided to - more political pressure? And what about the affect on the restaurant business?
Whether the acronym BS bothers you or not, BS is exactly what the meals tax is. Find a better way.