About the only good thing anyone can say about tax rates in Prince William County is that they’re not going to be anywhere near as bad as they’ll soon be in Manassas City, which itself is working overtime to bring their tax rates up to the stratospheric heights that only Manassas Park has achieved. We are living in one of the most rapidly unaffordable areas of the Commonwealth at the same time our elected officials are actually bragging about how fiscally responsible they supposedly are.
I have to wonder what universe these local elected officials live in. They share time and space with us, but other than that their connection to the realities we actually have to deal with are strikingly tenuous, at best.
In Prince William County the Board of Supervisors will be voting tomorrow to adopt a tax rate of $1.181 per hundred, which when you add all the additional levies that get tacked on, brings our tax rate to $1.2859. That’s quite a bit higher than every other county in Northern Virginia, with Loudoun coming in at $1.205 per hundred, with Stafford and Fairfax Counties coming in at about $1.07. County spending will once again increase this year, as it has in every other year, despite the oft-repeated claims that the budget has been cut when in actually only the increases in spending have been cut.
In Manassas City, the City Council has bizarrely decided to front-load all spending increases for a ridiculously excessive capital improvements plan instead of phasing it in over the next five years, and will hike the rate to an eye-popping $1.436 per hundred. This represents an average annual tax increase of 10.4%. For years Manassas City was known for having lower taxes than the surrounding Prince William County, but that economic advantage towards encouraging industrial and economic development has been utterly abandoned and commercial development in the city (other than apartment buildings, which now bizarrely gets counted as commercial property) has come to an immediate standstill and has actually started to shrink.
The perennial prize-winner in the “how high can we go with taxes” game has been Manassas Park which will adopt their budget on May 21st, so there’s no proposed rate yet. Last year they said they “hoped” to maintain a tax rate of $1.65 per hundred and cap spending increases to 0.5%. If they are successful at this, that would make Manassas Park, despite their extraordinarily high tax rate the most fiscally responsible governing body in the area. Wow.
Just imagine the implications of raving moonfruit Jeanette Rishell being able to legitimately claim that she has demonstrated a greater degree of fiscal responsibility than both Corey Stewart and Jonathan Way.
Just how utterly useless would Republicans be then?
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