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2003-04-23 Washington Monument tactics in Fairfax

Hanley, Connolly vote for forty-cent tax hike

Arthur G. Purves, president of the Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance (FCTA), stated today that Fairfax County Supervisors Kate Hanley and Gerry Connolly are poised to vote for a real estate tax rate of $1.16. This is forty cents more than the 76-cent rate that would offset the sixty-percent increase in residential assessments since the last supervisors' election, in 1999. During that election campaign both Hanley and Connolly stated that they would not raise taxes after the election. Mrs. Hanley is now considering running for the U. S. House of Representatives, and Mr. Connolly is running for chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

To defend their tax hike, which raised taxes on the average Fairfax County household by over $1000 in just four years, Chairman Hanley released a document showing how she would cut $560 million to achieve the 76-cent rate. Upon seeing Chairman Hanley's cuts Mr. Purves responded, "It appears that Chariman Hanley is resorting to Washington Monument tactics. For schools, Chairman Hanley would double student-teacher ratios but is vague about cutting administrators, guidance counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, or other non-classroom personnel."

On the county side, Mrs. Hanley would cut police, firemen, and libraries. However, she ignores salary increases. According to an FCTA analysis, for the last four years the average salary increase for county employees has been six percent per year. (The county's FY2004 Advertised Budget does not report salary trends.)

Mr. Purves concluded, "Chairman Hanley's list makes across-the-board cuts without any prioritization whatsoever. She completely ignores the $400M in wasteful spending the FCTA identified last year. As I testified before the Board two weeks ago, county welfare spending undermines families and drives up public safety spending. It is time for a reasoned discussion of county programs and not for threats of arbitrary budget cuts."