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Commissioners,

In hearing comments on your decision to raise property taxes above the constant yield rate,  please carefully consider the following points:

1.  All budgets should be based on an appropriations process.  That is, each budget request should be reviewed and evaluated on its merits.  Then all requests of high merit should be "stacked" in terms of priority. Then a budget line based on available funds must be drawn.  All request above the line get funded; those below don't.  If there are items falling below the line that still have a compelling reason to be funded (e.g., citizen safety and health), then the argument for that must be brought to the people together with the proposition that taxes should be increased to fund them.  This is a rational and fair process.

In contrast, allowing tax revenues to surge based on unrelated increases in property assessments is a "back door" approach to budgeting that allows budgets to bloat with requests that otherwise would not stand the test of a fully rationalized budget process.

2.  We live in a county with a rapidly growing population.  If you were to believe the justifications of many developers, our per capita assessments should be dropping, not increasing.  The argument that increased residential growth will lead to a larger tax base and lower taxes is, of course, false; but worse - it is having the exact opposite effect.  Since that growth is not being properly managed "a priori", it is resulting in unfunded costs to every existing taxpayer in the County "ex post".

In reviewing the proposed QAC budget, it is clear that major increases are coming from education, fire/emergency services, police and other infrastructure costs.  What this is saying to me is that new residential development in this County is getting a free ride on my back.  Developers are not being made to pay for current and outyear costs of their developments.  They can therefore walk off with more profit than is "fair", while county taxpayers are left to make up the difference in infrastructure costs out of their pockets.  (Does this strike anyone else as appalling?)

3.  Clearly, you as Commissioners and leaders of our County have a very tough job.  I expect that the toughest aspect of your job by far, is dealing fairly with growth.  I suggest that you can greatly simplify your job without decreasing the standard of living for your current taxpayers by adopting this rule going forward:  "We shall approve no development until we are satisfied that the full social, infrastructure and environmental cost of that development has been identified and that those costs have been mitigated or otherwise funded without increased net cost to the taxpayer."

Thank you for your service,

Frank DiGialleonardo
Centreville


KIDL Web Guy Says:  Write our Commissioners!

 bcassell@qac.orggransom@qac.org  | mkoval@qac.org
jcupani@qac.org  |  rsmith@qac.org


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