Letters to the Editor: May 14 – 20, 2015
Pleased With Planners’ Development Discussion
I have to express deep appreciation for the Planning Commission and its lengthy discussion of the Spectrum Development project on Monday night. Numerous important issues and concerns were raised. I was especially pleased to hear Chair Rob Meeks focus in his conclusion on a very important issue – that although we are technically a city, we actually live in a suburban environment.
It’s true. Falls Church is a suburban community. I know of no one who wants the increased traffic and parking problems that the Spectrum Development project will going to bring to the West End.
Further, Mr. Meeks and other members of the Planning Commission understood that the neighborhoods surrounding this behemoth of a development do not want something of this size and height. Massing and height of this magnitude simply does not fit into our environment and Little City. As Mr. Meeks said, this project should be smaller. He is correct.
Assessment Update After Each Sale Is Bad Policy
Regarding last week’s editorial’s call to update real estate assessments with every property sale, first, this is not permitted under Virginia law.
Second, it is bad policy. The purpose of the assessment function is to equitably distribute taxes. It would not be fair for a person who just bought a house to pay more taxes than the exact same house next door. It is not a good idea to discourage people from buying houses in Falls Church by inequitable taxation. Yes, this is what Proposition 13 did in California, but over the long haul, it means that recent purchasers pay a larger portion of the tax burden. If long-time owners have low incomes, that can be dealt with directly with targeted tax relief.
Former City of Alexandria Assessor
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