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Small tax rate reductions still mean large tax increases

Assessments in Prince William County, like those in Arlington, provide county supervisors the opportunity to reap windfall increases in tax revenues. That is unless the elected supervisors reduce the real estate tax rate to the "lowered rate necessary to offset increased assessment." That language, and the tax rates involved, is in the legal notice required by state law. Arlington's was published in the March 18 Northern Virgnia Journal, but you can read the fine print in the Arlington County Manager's report to the County Board. James Young, a member of the Prince William County Taxpayers Alliance, writes in yesterday's Potomac News that the Republican chairs of their county board of supervisors and school board "posture as friends of the taxpayers whom they are soaking," while "busily endorsing candidates for other offices who are from the same tax-and-spend-us-into-oblivion school of fiscal mismanagement." Young correctly notes, "As usual, the problem is spending. And the differences between those already in or aspiring to public office appear not be to in whether they will tax and spend us into oblivion, but in who will do it the fastest."

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