Falls Church Already Pays Richmond
I felt the need to respond to Mr. Jeff Walyus’s letter admonishing the City of Falls Church to “pay up or shut up” regarding payments to the Virginia Retirement System. I must admit I have not studied the retirement issue sufficiently to have a strong opinion on how much funding should come from what source. Nevertheless, Mr. Walyus is incorrect in the assumption that Falls Church residents do not already help the rest of the “less fortunate” areas of the state. It is true that city income is high. That means that city residents pay a disproportionate amount of the total income taxes that go to the state. Where does that money go?
City of Falls Church schools received 8% of their budget from the state, according to public records. Roanoke public schools received 45% of their budget from state sources. Urban Falls Church received $244,000 in state transportation funds from the state in first quarter 2012. Rural Pittsylvania County with five times the total population received $6.5 million over the same time frame–over 25 times the city’s share.
I do not dispute that revenue transfer from wealthy to less well-heeled parts of the state happens and is, to one extent or another, necessary. But the idea that areas like Falls Church, Fairfax, and Arlington are not already shouldering the lion’s share of the burden of funding the rest of the state is, in my opinion, not borne out by the numbers.