F.C. Plans 5% Tax Surcharge on Commercial Land

Falls Church Assistant City Manager Cindy Mester reported to a town fall meeting on the upcoming Fiscal Year 2011 budget that talks have begun between City Hall and a committee of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce about imposing an additional five cents on the real estate tax rate on commercial properties in the City.

The move is permitted by state law on condition that revenues derived from the surcharge be used for transportation-related developments to improve the business environment. Mester noted the state allows up to a 12.5 cent additional charge. While other jurisdictions in Virginia have already begun using this tax resources, Falls Church has avoided it until this year. Mester met Monday morning with members of the Chamber’s Legislative Committee, which took no stand, and will present it to the Chamber’s full board of directors at its monthly meeting next Tuesday morning.

The City proposes to spend the tax surcharge revenues on sidewalk and streetscape improvements along the City’s commercial corridors, along with Americans With Disabilities (ADA) compliance issues, transit bus stops and turn lanes, new or expanded roads and lanes, and added public parking.