Trouble in Bristol Virginia, Again 2010
by Lewis Loflin
Bristol is still in trouble. With 25% of Bristol residents on food stamps, most can't afford to eat out or take their honey to a local motel for a 'quickie.' This has left the City that has wasted $6 million on old train station and a new $10 million public library wondering what to do. They claimed this nonsense was going to bring economic growth, instead are looking for ways to fill their budget gaps.
Bristol Councilman Guy Odum says, "We're digging a hole and it seems like we just keep digging. I think we're going to have to get all the department heads together and figure out what we can do for the next year or so - until the economy turns around." This is because City leaders have again borrowed $2.5 million to meet falling tax collections.
Now lots of the Tea Party conservatives in the area constantly demand lower taxes and big cuts in government, but what they don't understand is government is much of the economy.
Bristol hinged their bloated budget on lodging and meal taxes dependant mainly on tourism. The lodging tax is down 4 percent and the meals tax is down 8 percent. The Federal Government did provide a temporary bailout for bankrupt Bristol. Officials claim the federal government's Cash For Clunkers program produced a brief spike in collections, I guess due to new car sales. But this is the reality without constant infusions of outside tax dollars. No matter how we cut it, the region is a welfare basket case. Ref. BHC 2-20-10. Posted February 26, 2010.
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