August 23, 2013

Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) announced this week that the commonwealth has a budget surplus of $585 million [“Virginia records budget surplus,” Metro, Aug. 20]. Why is this? Are we paying too much in taxes? Or are we not getting the services we deserve? I believe it’s the latter. I, for one, do not mind paying taxes as long as the state is providing the citizens with what they expect from their government.

Mr. McDonnell also said Virginia’s rainy-day fund soon would exceed $1 billion. Has he driven through the subdivisions of Northern Virginia? Our residential streets are falling apart. My street has not been repaved in more than 15 years. The streets have cracked and worn asphalt, to the degree that the concrete base is exposed in many places. Grass is growing through the cracks, and curbs damaged by plows over the years remain unrepaired. We’re beginning to look like a bankrupt state.

When I contact our state representatives about this, I am told that the Virginia Department of Transportation does not have the money to make necessary repairs. Why not? We should not have budget surpluses if the state has not fulfilled its obligations to its citizens.

Patricia Keightley, Burke

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