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2003-04-07 County real estate taxes up $1000 in four years

Tax rate required to offset 60-percent increase in assessments: 76 cents

76-cent sign Arthur G. Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance, today accused the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors of raising real estate taxes $1000 since the last supervisors’ election, in 1999. "Prior to the last election, Supervisors Kate Hanley and Gerry Connolly explicitly denied any plans to raise taxes after the election," Purves said. "Since then the typical Fairfax County household has seen its real estate taxes increase by $1000, and that is after adjusting for inflation. Real estate taxes increased more during the last four years than they did in the previous 19 years." Without adjusting for inflation the four-year increase is almost $1300. These figures assume a proposed real estate tax rate of $1.16, five cents below the current rate of $1.21.

Moreover, the $1000-dollar increase in real estate taxes dwarfs the typical homeowner’s savings from the car tax rollback, which is about $550. "Supervisor Connolly repeatedly stated that taxpayers could afford to pay higher real estate taxes since they were paying lower car taxes," Purves said.

Purves continued: "Fairfax County spending per resident, even when adjusted for inflation, is at an all-time high. Public school inflation-adjusted spending per student is at an all-time high. Real estate taxes are at an all-time high. And what’s improved? We’re paying higher taxes for crowded roads and schools."

Purves called the supervisors’ proposed real estate tax rate reduction from $1.21 to $1.16 "too little too late." "While assessments increased over 60 percent in four years, the supervisors made only a token reduction to the tax rate. To eliminate any tax increase arising from the 60-percent increase in residential assessments, the supervisors must set the tax rate at 76 cents, not $1.16," Purves concluded. To see $400 million in wasteful county spending identified by the FCTA, visit the home page.