In a recent editorial, the Arlington Sun Gazette warned readers not to be “fooled by [the County’s] budget ballet.” The editorial observed that the slew of budget cuts proposed in this year’s School Board and County budgets . . .
are part of a plan to foment community outrage in order to both grease the wheels for a higher tax rate (to “protect” the programs from the chopping block) and to shield from public scrutiny a host of other government operations that probably could stand a little slicing and dicing, but which top officials want to protect from the budget guillotine.Sun Gazette Editorial, 4/11/19
Exactly. The Sun Gazette knows that placing vital programs on the chopping block is the best way for County Board to push a tax increase, while concealing real pork in the budget.The April 2, 2019 budget hearing did not disappoint.
On that occasion, dozens of angry residents from organizations dependent on County largesse descended on the County Board room to express their outrage at proposed cuts to their budgets.
The groups were outdone by some individuals who actually demanded a tax increase! These folks evidently don’t care that their taxes are raised every year in the form of steadily rising real estate assessments and that these increases are driving people out of the County.
In fact the County Manager’s own budget report (budget book 144, web 152) together with the annual Consumer Price Index indicate that Arlington real estate taxes have increased more than double the rate of inflation over the past ten years.
Yet every year the County Manager trots out the same canard that the Arlington tax rate is lower than surrounding jurisdictions (budget book 105, web 113).
What matters is not the tax rate, but your tax bill, and by that measure, Arlington tops every other jurisdiction except Falls Church (budget book 147, web 155).
I’m A Fiscal Hawk
Are you tired of your annual property tax increases and bored by the budget ballet that the County puts on every year to justify them? Then you should consider an Independent alternative.
If elected to County Board, you can be sure that I will not approve tax rate increases that exceed the rate of inflation.
In addition, if elected, I pledge to:
- Seek other tax relief for residents and businesses and stop the exodus of federal agencies from Arlington.
- Preserve green space and emphasize basic services like: streets, schools, libraries and public safety.
- Promote transparency by requiring publication of official documents at least 72 hours before board and commission meetings.
- Provide a voice on County Board for all taxpayers.
As a 15-year Westover resident, long-time civic activist and current member of the Transportation Commission–I have both the experience and independence to promote these reforms.