The City real estate TAX RATE has INCREASED 47% since 2007. This is about $2,000 for the average Fairfax household.
During the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression, when City households were tightening their belts, the City EXPANDED its BUDGET.
After years of declining or flat home prices, the total assessed values of our homes INCREASED more than 8% from 2010 to 2013. This improved value, while welcome, causes our taxes to INCREASE - even without any change to the tax rate.
Yet in 2012 and 2013 our REAL ESTATE TAX rate was dramatically INCREASED by nearly 16%. This huge tax hike on top of increased values cost the average City family more than $1,000 in just two years.
Other City taxes have also increased. In 2008 the City doubled the MEALS TAX from 2% to 4%. This drives customers away from our City businesses, especially when the County has no meals tax. This extra tax hits all of our wallets, but especially those with tight budgets.
Sadly, unemployment continues to rise in the City from 5.2% in 2010 to a 10 year high in 2013 of 6.3% -- higher than the State rate of 5.4% -- and many residents are still struggling in this weak economy.
Yet the DEBT per capita for City residents has INCREASED from $2,227 per person in 2004 to $8,165 per person in 2013.
If I am elected to City Council, I will dedicate my time and experience to reducing the tax rates and tightening the budget. I will never forget that it's YOUR money.
* City figures from City of Fairfax Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2013.