Tom Joad's Place

Welcome to Tom Joad's Place! Join me for political discussion and banter on important national subjects and VA politics. I've also noticed that there are a lot of people looking for information on "Grapes of Wrath". Look for the sidebar and we'll discuss. Contact Kevin, at

Location: Fairfax, Virginia, United States

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Comedy in the Metro Section of the Post

From today's Washington Post:

"Fairfax County taxpayers should brace for a 3-cent rise in the property tax rate to cover funding shortfalls for public schools and human services this year, several supervisors said."

Ok, sounds like doom and gloom. But a couple of paragraphs later...

"Because of an average decline in property values of 3 percent this year, most tax bills would remain the same or decline slightly with a 3-cent rate increase, to 92 cents for each $100 of assessed value. Such an increase would produce a tax bill of $4,600 for a property worth $500,000."

No tax increase should be taken lightly. But saying that residents of Fairfax should "brace" for this three cent increase while the amount paid is actually the same or less than last year is hilarious. It's 150 dollars for every $500,000 of assessed value. Sound the sirens!

How can you sound like an alarmist in the first paragraph and then have a perfectly good explanation of how it will actually affect people a couple paragraphs later? I know the value of a good opening paragraph to grab readers attention but this is incredibly deceiving.

Just because we are in an economic decline, doesn't mean that the investments we have made in education, the fire department, rescue squad, and other improvements just stop. Belts do need to be tightened. The School Board has already cut 35 million with another 20 million or so still to be shaved off. Building improvements and infrastructure will be pushed back. Summer school has already been revamped with less than desirable results. Teachers COLA could be cut which will lead to more teachers defecting to neighboring counties.

So we're talking about 30 dollars for every 100k of assessed value right? Shouldn't we maintain services that makes Fairfax one of the best counties to live in?

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