To the editor:
What our current city council did by making the meals tax the highest in the region was make Alexandria marginally more costly for resident and visitor alike. More to the point: It’s the wrong solution to redress the problem of affordable housing.
Many who work in Alexandria already live in distant suburbs and endure long commutes simply to reside in a home they can afford. Making Alexandria a more expensive place to live will not enable these commuters to move here; it will create additional commuters, not fewer.
Making Alexandria more costly also frustrates other job-creating businesses from locating here. For a city that can’t stop spending, this means property taxes will perforce increase indefinitely, making home ownership more expensive and, therefore, affordable housing even less available.
One day we’ll elect to our city council individuals who know how to make money – not just spend it. To my knowledge, not a single current council member and – with the exception of council candidates Robert Ray, Mo Seifeldein, Matt Feely, Chris Hubbard and Elizabeth Bennett-Parker – no one has ever started a company, met a payroll or struggled day in and day out to ensure that revenues exceed expenses. Nor have they been required to comply with federal, state or local regulations affecting revenue creation, the source of tax remittances.
It’s hard to prosper in the private sector, especially for restaurant owners. Alexandria’s higher meals tax will aggravate their difficulty to be profitable. It will also exacerbate, not alleviate, the need for ever more affordable housing. The answer is not more tax; it’s more revenue. Re-electing Mayor Allison Silberberg and giving her six new city council members –in particular, Ray, Seifeldein and Feely – will be a good start toward that end.
-Jimm Roberts, Alexandria