Thursday, March 22, 2007

Property Tax Rate debate

As most of you know, I reside in the Midlothian District of Chesterfield and have lived in the area or had family in the area since 1983. What most of the current Board would like us to do is forget the past. Loss all connections with memory. You see we have been at this crossroads before. We failed then and we are about to fail again. How?
I actually have to stand with Dickie King on this one. If the most it can be in terms of a rate is 99 cents that thats what it should be. In response to many emails to me about this I simply makes no sense at this time in the counties so called "controlled growth" phase should this be happening. Now do not get me wrong people will argue that the would love to have their property tax bill lowered....thats is an easy political ploy. The fact remains:

The schools system will lose 2 million in funds with each 1 cent reduction in the property rate

The county generally will lose 1 million in funds for every 1 cent reduction in the tax rate

All the debate does not change the fact that we as citizens are tasked with having to have faith in that we are being told that a decrease in the rate would be "revenue nuetral"...remind me to call my old ecomomics professor to explain to me the value of that in high growth juristictions. We are being led down the path that 99cents would take into account inflation, growth etc. Take heed one seem to be able to predict or forsee that drastic escalation on constrcution costs for a proposed school and yet we are being told by the same apparatus that we should be okay with the proposed rate. Forfive me for my reservation.

We have no way of knowing how transportation, roads etc are going to come down from the General Assembly except that we can expect little relief. We know the county plans to advertise this new rate (a reduction from 1.04) which could further increase population density in the county in certain areas. Assesments on property itself rose 16% as it whats the reality?

The reality is simply we are talking about less than two hundred dollars relief in exchange for increases across the board for countywide services. Its coming.

The difference between 99 cents and 95 cents per 100 of assessed value on a 250,000 Chesterfiled home is $100.00 (2,475 vs. 2,375) factor that once the county losses the revenue and costs continue to rise faster than anticpated as has held true the last few years fees and services will be increased.

We already know we cannot at current revenue levels build schools fats enough to meet the demand of population growth. This Board refuses to increase proffers or do anyhting to hold developers accountable for the profits derived from their residentail projects, which continue to keep going before the Planning Commission.

Again...apologies for my reservations.

I refer back to 1983. Mr. Sowder (Midlothian District) I would like to remind you that in 1983 there were trailers behind Robious Middle for students. Students in 2007 across the county still are subjected to learning in trailors some 25 years later percisely because The Board continues to do what is politcally expedient and not what will benefit us or our childrens future.

If the big picture is looked at....staying the course at 1.04 might not be the worst of ideas. No one can anticpate the costs of the future or what the fallout would be if there was an emergency services crisis in the county in the coming years.

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