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Mathews residents voice concerns about budget, reassessment

Several dozen Mathews residents attended a meeting at the Gwynn’s Island Cultural Center on Jan. 19 to protest the county’s spending practices and recent property reassessment.

Organizer Gary Farr said when he moved to the county in 1995 he didn’t mind trading services for more reasonable taxes and a small community, but he’s concerned that situation is "poised to change."

Over the past 13 years, said Farr, the county budget has doubled, from $10 million to $20 million, largely due to unfunded mandates the state and federal governments are imposing on the school system.

"The only way small business gets to double spending is if it quadruples sales," he said. "For $10 million, what do we get?"

Using information he obtained from the county website, Farr said that the per-pupil school expenditure in Mathews public schools is $9,600 a year, while a private academy in Gloucester charges only $8,910 a year.

Island resident Jud...

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