Are you kidding me? Roanoke residents and restaurant owners are griping about a 20 to 50 cents increase per meal. Kudos to Court Rosen for a most creative idea to address the budget shortfalls within our city school system. The “2 year emergency meals tax increase” has the potential to raise $4.6 million dollars. A $10 meal would cost an additional 20 cents. A $20 meal – an additional 40 cents. Wow! It amazes me how loud we can squawk when our services are cut, and we squawk even louder at the solutions. Basically, we have 2 choices when the expenses outweigh the revenues. You can either cut the expenses (or the goods and services) or increase the revenues.
Our schools are critical to the reputation and economy of our city. When folks are looking to buy a house, if they have children, or even if they are just concerned about resale, they want to buy in areas with good schools. Folks who are looking to relocate to Roanoke want to buy in school districts that have the best reputations. Think of the ripple effect – the housing market, home values, employment – the list goes on.
Roanoke City is currently looking at even more cuts, including the possible layoffs of 150+ teachers. You cannot tell me that an additional few cents each time you eat out wouldn’t be worth it. The citizens and children of Roanoke deserve to have a school system they can be proud of. It’s essential.