Letters to the Editor: Is Falls Church Becoming A City for the Wealthy?


Letters to the Editor: March 22 – 28, 2018


Is Falls Church Becoming A City for the Wealthy?


What am I missing? Tax overhaul reduces property tax write-off a few months ago. Check. Falls Church City property assessments rose last month (mine by $89,000). Check. Now the City Manager Wyatt Shields calls for a 5.5 cent tax rate hike for FY 2019? When is enough truly enough?

There are many great qualities of our Little City. But most would agree that the best of all is the diversity of the citizenry we enjoy. How does making it challenging for the middle class to live in the City of Falls Church qualify as a goal, let alone an accomplishment? Is this becoming a city for the wealthy?

I fully recognize that a new high school is needed. But why aren’t plans being modified, given the changing economic times. Due to the new tax law, it will be more expensive to live here for homeowners. Shouldn’t assessments go down, instead of up? I admit a downward adjustment may be coming in the future, but in the meantime, all homeowners in the Little City will have less disposable income.

I have lived here for 13 years and witnessed tremendous growth in commercial enterprise. One would think the larger tax basis from commercial activity would reduce the tax burden required from residential property owners. And yet, our taxes only continue to rise. Is this the goal? Bring in more commerce, but pay for it on the backs of the citizens that own homes (because we benefit from more restaurants and grocers?)

These are challenging times for elected officials. Worries about inflation are back after a decade without it. Foreign investment continues unabated. Now this? As someone who qualifies as both a current resident and a future one (I am in the process of building a new house here), I worry that the demographics will change. The fabric of our community will slowly shift to more homogeny, based upon the ability to afford living here, rather than contributing to the diversity of our neighborhoods because it has been a financial possibility. Have I made a mistake contracting for a new home here?

Tony Scardino

Falls Church


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