Falls Church News-Press Letters to the Editor: February 27 – March 5, 2014
City Must Address Tax Disparity Questions
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?
City of F.C. Elected Officials Need A Wake-Up Call
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!
Remember Tax Hike When Voting In Next Election
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.
FCNP Must Be More Fair When Delivering News
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.
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