Your View: Raise taxes? How about raising the issue of ridiculous spending?

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To the editor:

    
While the city indicated that average residential real estate assessments have increased only 1 percent this year and initially the city council talked of keeping tax rates steady, many Alexandria home owners are going to find a significant increase in their property tax bills this summer. 
    
In our neighborhood, assessments rose by 4 to 6 percent and, if the council goes through with the rate increase proposed, we will see our average tax bills go up by $420. (Even without the rate increase we would be facing a higher tax of almost $275.)
    
This occurs in a city that owns buildings worth millions that have been vacant for 30 years? 
    
This occurs in a city where our top-heavy school system and its freewheeling superintendent are proposing a 7 percent increase in its operating budget? (Better to do away with our separate school system and contract the service from Fairfax.) 
    
This occurs in a city which is considering spending up to a quarter of a million dollars on archeological research at Fort Ward park? Or millions of dollars on a new waterfront development? 
    
Frankly, I have a better use for that $420 like putting it in my IRA because I dont have an employer that provides a guaranteed pension like our city employees who are complaining about the prospect of having to add a sliver to their health and retirement funds.
    
I urge Alexandria voters to look at their real estate assessments and figure out how large their new taxes are going to be if we dont stop the city council from their dreaming up new ways to spend our money.

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