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The Real Problem with Local Government is Their Spendthrift Ways

The editorial in today's Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star laments the attention being paid by the two major gubernatorial candidates to the real estate tax burden. Tim Kaine (D) would "allow local governments to create 'homestead exemptions' sheltering from taxes up to 20 percent of a home's value" while Jerry Kilgore (R) proposes "capping real-estate assessment increase at 5 percent annually." The editorial notes that real estate property taxes are the most important revenue source for virtually all of Virginia's local governments. Nowhere in the editorial, however, is there any mention of the spending sprees that some local governments are on. For example, since 2000, real estate taxes are literally flooding into Arlington County's coffers. During this period, per capita income is up 19.1%, but tax payments on the average single-family residence are up 94%. Nowhere in the editorial is there any mention of the need for government officials to control their spendthrift ways.


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