Your Views: The taxpayer loses in Alexandria

Your Views: The taxpayer loses in Alexandria

To the editor:

The mayor and City Council seem to be patting themselves on the back for a property tax rate of $1.11 per $100 of assessed value, while assessments of houses and condos continue to skyrocket. The bottom line is all homeowners are going to pay higher property taxes yet again this year, not to mention sneaky rising utility fees for the same level of services.

As a resident in his 40s who has been a homeowner in Alexandria since the late 1990s, I remember when mayors and city councilors used to argue that the property tax rate should go up when assessments go down – and should go down when assessments go up. That’s how many of us in our 20s and 30s were able to afford to own and live here without being wealthy. Taxes were stable in real dollars.

We don’t seem to hear that last part anymore. But in 2007, the property tax rate in Alexandria was $0.815 per $100 of assessed value. You read that right – 81.5 cents compared to today’s $1.11. Do the math with your assessment. It is an enormous difference – a 36% increase in the property tax rate.

If assessments continue to increase as they have, why isn’t the mayor or the city council — or our new city manager — talking about a decrease in the property tax rate? Shouldn’t we be moving closer to the 81.5 cent rate now that assessments are through the roof?

As usual with the current mayor and council, it’s heads they win and tails you lose. The taxpayer always loses in Alexandria under this regime while city spending just keeps going up and up and up.

-Kenneth J. Wolfe, Alexandria