Letters to the Editor: City Must Address Tax Disparity Questions

February 27, 2014 10:15 AM2 comments

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Falls Church News-Press Letters to the Editor: February 27 – March 5, 2014

City Must Address Tax Disparity Questions

Editor,

All of us in Falls Church City have received our increased property assessments, as well as notice of the Stormwater Utility Fund Fee. The assessment has increased significantly, and the Stormwater fee is adding to the entire tax burden.

Many of my neighbors and friends are upset already about this increased assessment, and I think Falls Church City has the responsibility to lower the real estate tax rate to offset the assessment increase, so that the City’s income remains revenue neutral.When I compared the City’s tax rate with neighboring jurisdictions is shows Falls Church residents are shouldering a significantly greater tax burden than our neighbors. We need to question why this disparity exists, and correct it (Please don’t tell me it’s because of our great schools; Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun are also known for their great, often award-winning, schools).

Also, the News-Press editorial last week was exactly correct: while those in City government may be well aware of the development of the Stormwater fee, many (I’d guess most) residents don’t know how the city plans to use this fee. (Where will the funds go? How much of it is an administrative fee? What efforts has the city made to offset these expenses by cutting the City budget elsewhere?) Also, we have not seen a comparison of F.C.’s Stormwater fee and those of our neighboring jurisdictions. Is our proposed fee in line with those jurisdictions, or is it (like our tax rate) vastly higher?

Falls Church City needs to publicly address these questions and address the disparity in the tax burden shouldered by City residents. Can someone from the City provide this information, hopefully through the News-Press, so that all residents have the opportunity to be informed?

Kathy Rice

Falls Church

 

City of F.C. Elected Officials Need A Wake-Up Call

Editor,

Falls Church taxes are completely out of control and our elect

ed officials need a wake-up. Hopefully they will get one at the upcoming public meetings. I have older neighbors who need to move because they can’t afford to live here anymore, and we are planning our move now because it no longer makes sense to live here unless you have a child in school. We will undoubtedly be replaced by homes with several children, swelling the school roles further and raising the taxes even more.

I formerly lived in a town in Massachusetts. Like Falls Church, it is a fairly wealthy town in a high cost-of-living area. It has an outstanding school system which its residents are quite proud of. However, that town has twice the population of Falls Church, twice the school population as well, and 10 times the land area. Their school budget is $41 million compared to F.C.’s $37 million. That means they pay about $9,900 per student compared to $17,000 in Falls Church.

Further, their entire police department budget is $4.9 million compared to Falls Church P.D. budget of $5.65 million (plus another $1.5 million for our sheriff/traffic trap department). Get a grip Falls Church!

Donald Vafides

Falls Church

 

Remember Tax Hike When Voting In Next Election

Editor,

A lot of people are moaning and groaning about the tax hike, water rate hike. Did they stop to think who the citizens of City of Falls Church elected in the last election? If they don’t like this outcome, remember to study who you vote for in the next election.

Also, since George Mason High School finally got their “reader board” out front of the school changed 2-1/2 months after the 2013 notice yet too cold to make any new announcements. Do you think that in the millions of dollars that goes to the school, is it possible they could allot maybe $150 for a warm coat & gloves to keep the board updated? Fairfax County schools must be in a warmer climate!

Also, the bush that is planted in front of the reader board, when it is growing, you can’t see the announcements anyway.

Barb Molino

Falls Church

 

FCNP Must Be More Fair When Delivering News

Editor,

The News-Press must be fair in delivering the news and not be so biased.

At public comments during the City Council meeting Monday night, five people talked about the Kensington assisted living project. Out of the five, the News-Press used comments from the only speaker who was in full support of the project as proposed in their online article.

This is not professional, unbiased journalism.

Pirouz Khanmalek

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.

  • Joe

    “The News-Press must be fair in delivering the news and not be so biased.”

    Fat chance. The News-Press is well known for publishing opinion pieces disguised as news stories on issues ranging from various development projects in and around Falls Church to its one-sided coverage of the Episcopal Church’s lawsuit against the Falls Church Anglican congregation.

  • cpplymire

    Ms. Rice is correct. This façade of “keeping FC CITY schools the best” is a very tired and ridiculous argument. Those who want more for their kids have what is called “private schools” to choose from like Sidwell Friends, etc. Costly? yep. Go fund it on your own dime. Not mine. I have paid, and continue to pay, MORE than my share of taxes in this town without ANY children in the system. I don’t mind paying a fair and equitable tax, but that fair share has been gone for years now. I am tired of paying for your offspring. You brought all these children to our town..now grow up and start funding them out of YOUR budget..stop asking me to dole out more and more and more………

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