Recent events have provided two golden opportunities for Alexandria to substantially enhance its city government and its overall economic situation:
1. Democratic Governor Tim Kaines goal of reducing Virginias operating expenses by 5 percent, and
2. Fairfax Countys anticipated decision to impose its greatest tax increase on commercial property in decades.
Governor Kaines decision to reduce Virginias operating expenses by 5 percent is a bold step back towards fiscal responsibility. Given the complexity and size of the budget, Democrat Tim Kaine, working with a state legislature divided by party lines, should be applauded for this step and should serve as a model for local Virginia jurisdictions, including Alexandria. This would be a great opportunity for the mayor to work with the new ideas of recently elected Councilman Justin Wilson to show Alexandrians that its no longer business as usual and the era of ever growing budgets is over. Fiscal responsibility should not be a partisan issue. Alexandrias over priced and underperforming city attorneys office and school system, recently ranked dead last in the country for economic efficiency, would be two obvious areas to begin rationalizing.
Gerald Connolly of Fairfax County is pushing though a massive tax increase on businesses in his jurisdiction. This tax increase will put those businesses at a competitive disadvantage compared to our Alexandria businesses. The mayor and City Council only have to take one simple, easy step to gain advantage of Connollys mistake: Nothing. Simply keeping commercial property tax rates the same, or even a creating a modest temporary tax holiday for new/relocated businesses, will draw in new businesses and new opportunities for all Alexandrians.
Our Democratic City Council should follow the lead of our Democratic governor by reducing our budget and Alexandria should reap the benefits as less enlightened jurisdictions tax businesses to such an extent that they move here.
Alexandria Taxpayers United