129 days into Donald Trump’s presidency, stories about his already-disillusioned voters seem almost cliche. But with a POLITICO report about how hard the president’s new budget will hit rural areas that voted for him, that cliche proves right yet again.
According to POLITICO writer Lorraine Woellert, there’s already been talk of exactly how much Trump’s new budget will hurt rural communities by those that lead them.
“‘I thought, ‘Oh my God, I don’t know if they really thought this through,’” Michael Williams, a self-described “fiscal conservative” and mayor of Union County, Tennessee, told POLITICO.
With Trump’s budget cutting federal funding for many of the projects regions like Union County needs, the onus is, according to the language of the budget, on “state and local governments and the private sector to address community and economic development needs”. The county where Williams is mayor has a median income of $37,000 and raises most of their budget through property taxes, and he told POLITICO that they’d have to increase property taxes substantially to pay for works the city needs.
“If federal dollars are lost,” Woellert wrote, “it’s not apparent that states and municipalities could pick up the slack.”
In regions like Union County, municipalities rely on federally-funded programs like the Appalachian Regional Commission to provide grants for public works, such as one Williams requested to update one the county’s school’s septic and water systems. POLITICO reports that under the Trump budget, these sorts of programs won’t exist anymore.