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2001-01-23 FairfaX County Taxpayers Alliance hires full-time lobbyist



CONTACT: Arthur Purves
phone: 703 281-0176


Faced with the difficult battle of fighting unnecessary tax increases, Arthur Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance announces the recent hire of a full-time lobbyist. John Toivonen, a resident of Richmond who has previously worked in journalism, is now working for the Alliance to defeat legislation designed to drive up taxes.

The Alliance is primarily concerned with a bill sponsored by Del. James Dillard, R-Fairfax, that would allow local officials to hold a referendum seeking approval of a sales-tax increase from 4.5 cents to 5.5 cents that would be used to fund transportation projects and school construction in Northern Virginia. This amounts to a $144 million in additional revenues, and would be a 22 percent increase. The Alliance maintains that before raising taxes, state and local government should justify past tax increases and control social spending so that it stops increasing faster than the growth of population and inflation. The current budget for Fairfax County is about $2.1 billion and the state budget is about $24 billion. Taxpayers have already bestowed lavish tax increases on the county. If Fairfax Countyís budget had increased no faster than population and inflation since 1975, it would be about $1 billion or $1.1 billion less than it is today. About 70 percent of the cost of government can be attributed to social spending (schools, public safety, welfare). These programs are out of control, have no accountability, and have produced no improvement commensurate with the funding increases they have received. Adjusted for inflation, per-student spending has increased from $4,677 in 1975 to $9,354 in 2000, thus giving the schools an extra $700 million annually. Non-school spending in the county has jumped from $631 per resident in 1975 to $1,038 per-resident in 2000. Fairfax County Public School staff has increased almost four times faster than enrollment since 1975. Non-school county staff has increased by 158 percent, while the countyís population has only seen an 83 percent increase.

According to a Washington Post report, a Fairfax County family of four with two school-age children pays $11,000 in taxes.

There is money to pay for necessary programs. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors should reallocate the $144 million from the least effective programs to school and road construction.

The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance Press Release