Letters to the Editor: February 20 – 26, 2014

February 20, 2014 11:56 AM0 comments

 F.C. Needs Officials Who Can Get Taxes Under Control

Editor,

Two measures of whether a municipal government is well run are: 1. Taxes collected from the citizens generally are not increasing significantly faster than inflation and, 2. Taxes collected from the citizens are comparable to those collected by the surrounding jurisdictions.

The City of Falls Church is failing on both counts.

Although my wife and I have lived in the City for over 32 years, I looked at only the most recent years to analyze the real estate taxes paid. From 2005-13, the real estate taxes paid for our home increased by 42% which is equivalent to a compounded rate of 4.52% a year. During that same period, the U.S. Consumer Price Index increased at only about half that rate.

In 2005, the F.C. real estate tax rate was $1.03 per $100 of assessment. In 2013, the rate was $1.305, a 27% increase. In 2005, the Arlington County real estate tax rate was $.878 per $100 assessment. In 2013, Arlington’s rate was $1.006, a 15% increase. In 2005, the Fairfax County real estate tax rate was $1.13 per $100. In 2013, Fairfax County’s rate was $1.085, a 4% decrease.

In addition, Falls Church is now adding a new stormwater fee to the real estate tax burden of homeowners. This fee would, in the case of our home, effectively raise the “tax” rate increase over the eight-year period from 42% to a 47% increase.

Given all of the above and the City’s announcement that real estate assessments are increasing 6.77% for 2014, City politicians should feel compelled to reduce the real estate tax rate for 2014 from its high 2013 level of $1.305 per $100 of assessment. Moreover, there should be an objective to continue lowering real estate tax rates more over an extended period to bring the City rate in line with Arlington and Fairfax.

In 2013, a Falls Church homeowner paid 30% more in real estate taxes than an Arlington County homeowner and 20% more than Fairfax County homeowner for an identically valued home.Without significant improvement, Falls Church citizens should strongly consider replacing the politicians with others who can bring taxes under control.

James E. Schoenberger

Falls Church

 

What About Seniors Living on Fixed Incomes?

Editor,

Kudos to Henry Gordon for his Letter to the Editor regarding the Real Estate Tax hike. “Baloney” also expresses my feelings.

How much more can the City Council take away from senior citizens living on a fixed income? We are about to add a stormwater utility surcharge too! Are we being forced out of our homes by these outrageous taxes? Is the education “excellence” renovation of city hall, library and the property values being forced up because of the new housing development fair to those of us who have worked to help build the “Little City?

We have had the sale of the water system, the overage of funds, opening of BJ’s and other new business.

What is the city going to do to sustain the seniors who have kept the value up?

Pat Richbourg

Falls Church

 

F.C. Government Up To Its ‘Favorite Pastime’

Editor,

The Falls Church City government is up to their favorite pastime: raising taxes! As if a 7.8% rise in real estate assessment wasn’t a giant and greedy hit in the pocketbook, they should be accused of piling on with Stormwater Utility Fee. The City Manager claims these increases are in line with the region. Falls Church City taxes are the highest in the region, so we seem to be leading the parade of tax mismanagement.

Fred Foss

Falls Church

 

‘Abundance of Proof’ of Water Bill Irregularities

Editor,

In response to the City’s statement in the News-Press regarding the need to audit the last water bill provided to residents, I find the last sentence of that article silly. How can the office examining the water bills not find any irregularities when over 150 families wrote in saying that they did? There is an abundance of proof and we need the City to review what occurred. Or are they hiding something again?

Jane Polzer

Falls Church

 

Why Aren’t Old Post Office, Anthony’s Sidewalks Cleared?

Editor,

Who is responsible for clearing the sidewalks in front of Anthony’s old location and the old Post Office? Ever since the Harris Teeter deal went through, there has been no snow removal from the public sidewalks,which should be done within six hours.

Why aren’t the walks being cleared?

Michael Baker

Falls Church

 

F.C.’s Section of W&OD Trail Not Cleared of Snow

Editor,

It is unfortunate that the Falls Church section of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail cannot be maintained to the same level as the Arlington County. I am one bicycling commuter that will be forced onto automobile dominated roads such as Broad Street in order to bypass the snow covered Falls Church section of the W&OD Trail.

Thomas Self

Falls Church

 


Letters to the Editor may be submitted to letters@fcnp.com or via our online form here. Letters should be limited to 350 words and may be edited for content, clarity and length. To view the FCNP’s letter and submission policy, please click here.

Facebook Iconfacebook like buttonTwitter Icontwitter follow buttonGoogle+Google+