To the editor:
Something is surely wrong here when it comes to Alexandria’s city hall’s doings, but over-taxation is more complex than even your editorial of March 23, “Something’s wrong here,” reveals. The average tax bill might have increased 76% since 2007, but inflation has increased by approximately 41% and wages and salaries by 48%.
Because housing costs at the peak of the bubble were so high, when City Council cut the tax rate by 10 cents the average tax bill still increased by more than 6%! The real gauge of an out-of- control city hall is the comparison between the 76% inflation in actual tax bills and overall price inflation and wage increases, each in the 40-49% range, leaving Alexandria’s true tax rate inflation at close to 30%.
It’s hard to tell what we’re getting for that 30% which we didn’t already have in 2007 other than maybe free DASH buses.
Rural prices are lower because resources such as food and building materials are closer by and rent and land costs are cheaper because fewer folks want to live there. Not only are rural places not growing as fast as urban ones, but many of them are having trouble holding onto their younger folks, especially the college-educated, because of a dearth of opportunities
And that is the crux of the problem. The younger folks coming to places like Alexandria are determinedly voting for these tax-increasing politicians, even after all the downsides of city hall’s current direction are pointed out, rather than heeding your editorials, numerous letters to the editor, warnings from civic organizations or even pleas from former Mayors Allison Silberberg and the late Patsy Ticer to respect Alexandria’s historic character.
-Dino Drudi, Alexandria