December 13, 2012
Going over the "fiscal cliff" could lead to reduced social services in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, according to a new study.
Craig Evans, a former worker with Advocates for a Sustainable Albemarle Population, completed the study. It focuses on population growth, and the impact that will have on services.
Lawmakers in Washington have yet to reach an agreement on how to avoid the "fiscal cliff," and if one is not reached by the end of the year, Evans says the combination of tax increases and federal budget cuts will have a negative impact on the local community.
"It means cut backs," said Evans. "Immediate cut backs on certain kinds of agencies which provide services that will mean less money for local governments."
Evans also says that, as more people move in, the money they generate will not be enough to off-set the services they use, especially if federal money dries up. He says attracting more people to the area to close a financial gap caused by the "fiscal cliff," is not the answer.
"Encouraging growth as a way of growing out of this is not perhaps the right approach," said Evans. "What we need to do is look at how we manage the people that are here as growth comes in."
Evans says he plans to speak with the Charlottesville City Council and the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors about the findings of his study.