COUNTY USES GILMORE CAR TAX REIMBURSEMENT TO CAMOUFLAGE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 28 2000
CONTACT: ARTHUR PURVES
COUNTY USES GILMORE CAR TAX REIMBURSEMENT TO CAMOUFLAGE A THREE-PERCENT HOMEOWNER TAX INCREASE
Arthur G. Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance today accused the Fairfax County government of using Governor Gilmore's "car tax" payment from the state to camouflage a tax increase. "The county," Mr. Purves said, "is no longer reporting the portion of the personal property tax that is paid from the state. Taxpayers are still paying the entire personal property tax, partially through the county and partially from state coffers. However the county budget makes it appear that the personal property tax paid by the average household has decreased. In fact it has increased."
When the full personal property tax is included, the average real estate, personal property, sales, and utility taxes paid by a household increases from $3645 in FY00 to $3755 in FY01, an increase of three percent, adjusted for inflation. This brings average household taxes to a record high.
The tax increase that followed the last supervisors' election, in 1997, was 4.6 percent. That increase was fueled by a hike in the real estate tax rate. This year's increase is fueled by an unexpected five-percent surge in homeowner assessments plus growth in sales taxes.
Mr. Purves, who had opposed Chairman Katherine K. Hanley in the last supervisors' election, had predicted that Chairman Hanley would vote for a tax increase if re-elected. Based on the friendly reception the supervisors gave the FY2001 budget this morning, it appears that she will vote for a three percent real increase in household taxes.
"Local government has actually succeeded in having Gilmore's "no car tax" campaign backfire," Mr. Purves concluded. "As the personal property tax is shifted to the state, local governments will let other tax rates accelerate to replace it. The result is that taxpayers will still pay escalating personal property taxes through the state and even more rapidly escalating local taxes."