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A Tax Hike Backlash In Manassas

By Greg L | 3 May 2011 | Manassas City | 9 Comments

There’s a distinct backlash brewing among conservatives in Manassas in regards to the latest budget, as evidenced by a rather interesting letter to the editor in the Manassas News & Messenger.  If some council members thought this was a good time to enact a tax hike, they might be reconsidering the wisdom of that decision since conservatives aren’t sitting back and just taking it this time around.  I bet a lot of people are going to remember how they feel now when the next municipal elections roll around.

Perhaps most interesting here was that the City Council spent $10,000 of city taxpayer dollars on a party for Senator Chuck Colgan at the Hylton Center.  It’s not the biggest spending item on the list of complaints, but the event bore a striking resemblance to a campaign event for Colgan, complete with Democratic Party leaders exclaiming that they looked forward to many more years of service by Colgan in the Senate.  The event was ostensibly a fundraiser for the Hylton Center, which is already supported by taxpayer dollars from Prince William County and Manassas City, but with heavy political overtones and numerous speeches talking about how Colgan is doing such a great job as an elected official you have to suspect that the event legally required disclosure on campaign finance reports and whether the City of Manassas should have reported a five figure campaign donation during the last campaign finance report period.

Then you have elected officials of the city attending the very party that was supported by the taxpayer dollars they appropriated.  Families in Manassas that are struggling in this difficult economy to the point they have to adjust their grocery list and diligently clip coupons in order to feed their children are forking over sizable chunks of city money so councilmen can attend an extravaganza where Dick Saslaw talks about how good a Senator Chuck Colgan is?  And then the Manassas City Council raises taxes on those struggling families saying they don’t have enough money for core services such as police and firefighters?

Ouch.  I can just hear some well spoken challenger reprising “A Time For Choosing,” tearing apart the decisions of the Manassas City Council with the same force and humor of Ronald Reagan.  It’s too easy.

A two day “Education Forward Retreat” was held for senior employees and School Board members of the Manassas City Schools on April 29th.  The agenda for the first day reads in toto “Discussion of Joint Long‐Term Goals and Strategies Led by Facilitator Kathryn McCarty.”  The agenda for the second day reads, again, in toto “Continued Discussion of Joint Long‐Term Goals and Strategies Led by Facilitator Kathryn McCarty.“  That’s it.  This is how Manassas City Schools spends a whopping $13,441 per student.  No one can seem to explain what the heck “Education Forward” is, but the highest paid employees of the school system can spend two full days with a paid facilitator in “continuing discussions” to define it.

One city councilman votes on funding from the city to a private business that pays his salary, and which he controls.  That business competes with other private entities that don’t receive funding from the city council. Corporate welfare at the local level isn’t likely to be a whole lot more appealing to struggling taxpayers than it is at the federal level, but instead of cutting this funding and using it for core government responsibilities, the city council says it doesn’t have enough money for firefighters and raises the fire levy 17%.

The council decides it needs one additional special police officer.  His duties?  To patrol Lake Manassas.  Lake Manassas is three miles outside of the limits of the City of Manassas and is only threatened by errant golf balls from Stonewall Golf Club.  That’s important enough for the city to spend $88,000 it can only finance by raising taxes on people trying to figure out how to get out from under credit card bills.

Yeah, I see a backlash coming.

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  1. Logical Thinker said on 4 May 2011 at 6:44 am:
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    Who was there?

  2. Robert L. Duecaster said on 4 May 2011 at 8:49 am:
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    I would have liked to have attended the party for Chuck.

  3. Justice for All said on 4 May 2011 at 10:38 am:
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    RINO Republicans acting badly and getting caught in the act by observant citizens, there is hope yet!

  4. Little Guy said on 4 May 2011 at 12:09 pm:
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    He forgot to mention the increases in BPOL taxes for city businesses, last time I checked there were many vacant commercial buildings and for lease signs all over the City. This does nothing to help that City leaders other than send business to Gainesville.

  5. anon said on 4 May 2011 at 3:18 pm:
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    Its about time some take notice.
    this has been going on since the windfall of revenue several years ago,Spend spend spend ,now its time to try and maintain it so lets screw the property owners.
    Good luck trying to replace any, just remember the last election.

  6. Wineplz said on 4 May 2011 at 3:18 pm:
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    Did anyone sit in on the BOCS meeting last week? I actually sent a quick email to both Corey Stewart and Wally Covington about my concern that they were potentially voting on increasing our taxes, etc., and I will give them credit for responding to me. Stewart sent me an email (which may or may not have been a form letter), and Wally Covington surprised me by calling me directly. I still wasn’t terribly excited about the outcome, seeing that we really didn’t need to spend more money on a hiking trail, but at least they didn’t stick with the obnoxious rate that was suggested by the county executor (her name escapes me…though I do recall hearing she is paid more than our governor).

  7. SealTeamSix said on 5 May 2011 at 12:01 pm:
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    There are several RINO’s on the Manassas City Council working behind the scenes to shut down the cries of those who demand fiscal conservatism from the City Council. What all of the Manassas City Council members (other than Mr. Aveni) fail to understand is that is the taxpayer’s money, and not the City Council members money.

    The majority of the Manassas City Council (as well as the mayor) do not deserve to be re-elected. And I hear the mayor has aspirations to run for Virginia Senate. What a joke!

  8. Hello! said on 5 May 2011 at 1:36 pm:
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    I think that 3 of them anyway are nothing more than out of touch rich snobs driving around in BMWs, look who their biggest supporters were at the public hearing, democrats!

  9. anon said on 6 May 2011 at 6:04 pm:
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    Well at least county taxes are not being raised. I thought they were because amount owed this year will be higher but then I got this terrific email which told me that my taxes weren’t higher so I guess I will believe the email and not what I am supposed to pay. Maybe I could just send in less than I sent last year with a copy of this email to let them know there is a mistake. If Chairman Stewart says my taxes are back to what they were in 2006, then for goodness sakes, it has to be God’s truth.

    “Dear Friend,

    Last week the Prince William Board of County Supervisors passed a budget that builds upon our impressive record of results by keeping taxes low.

    The action taken by the Board this week keeps taxes below 2007 levels, below the rate of inflation and more than 30% below the taxes in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties. With your help we’ve been able to cut $143 million from the county budget and reduce the number of government employees.

    I’m proud of the Prince William community and what we’ve been able to accomplish in just four years. But now is the time to look forward and prepare for the future.

    This budget builds 6 new schools in Prince William County, without raising taxes.

    This budget will reduce congestion, by allocating $200 million to new roads, without raising taxes.

    This budget will put 17 more police officers on the streets, without raising taxes.

    This budget will provide new parks for your children, without raising taxes.

    This budget will build 2 new libraries, without raising taxes.

    All of these efforts will help secure a great Prince William County for my children and yours. We are going to build the infrastructure to attract businesses and families to our community. I believe that our best days are ahead of us, and I hope you agree with me that by keeping taxes low and investing in critical infrastructure, we can all be part of a more prosperous Prince William County.


    Corey Stewart”

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