October 14, 1999

County Taxes

I am the president of a family owned corporation and becoming increasingly frustrated with the rise in taxes that we derive no benefit from, either as a family or as a business. We have lived in Fauquier county for 27 years and have watched our taxes rise disproportionately. And all of the indications are that this is going to get much worse.

If you have any doubt about what the future holds for county taxpayers, read The Fauquier Citizen – October 7, 1999.

Page 2. “Carolyn Faller, wife of Bealeton Realtor Carl Faller” collected 700 signatures in favor of VRE service to Bealeton. ---- Now who do you think benefits from VRE service to Bealeton and who pays? The answer on who benefits is those trying to make it happen, which appears to be the people that derive their income from development. (I didn’t read of anyone who was going to ride the VRE putting together a petition.). And guess who pays – the taxpayers.

Page 6. “For years, officials have known that crowding in the county’s four middle schools would pose problems” and “Anticipated population increases and rising construction costs often alter school board plans”. ---- Are not the officials who know about the crowding in our schools part of the same bureaucracy that approves the construction of the units that cause the problem?

Page 8, an article states that the State Bank of Remington is offering $2,440 per single-family house and $1,464 per townhouse as an incentive to the county to rezone their property for the Reynards Crossing planned community. ---- Is that amount reasonable? What is the real impact of a new family moving into the county?

And the county taxes our personal computers as if we purchased them every year even though a PC has very little value a year after purchase. And they tax our Gross Receipts. This is patently ridiculous. We build high-tech scientific equipment and the cost in parts and materials is substantial. Being a small company with minimal market penetration demands that we price very aggressively and a tax on Gross Receipts makes it that much more difficult to penetrate a market place dominated by Asian and European companies. And our vehicles still get taxed at 4.5% per year because they are used for business. No “No More Car Tax” here!

So why do our taxes keep going up? Collected tax revenues rise continuously with the increase in taxpayers salaries, increase in appraisals on taxpayer owned real estate, and, in our case, the growth of our business enterprise. Yet, we are constantly told that the government needs more of our hard earned money. I say, let them work as hard to develop judicious ways to spend our money as we did earning it.

Let’s stop all tax increases. And I know how we can accomplish this; VOTE! But forget about whether someone is a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent, let’s make every person we are going to vote for take a position and hold it. Let’s track their performance against their rhetoric and hold them accountable for any lapses. Let’s do this every week of every year and sooner than later, things will improve. And we’ll all feel better for practicing the greatest form of government on the planet, democratic.

Rex A. Hoover