OPINION: Supervisor Candland 'Help Bring Tax Relief to Prince William Families'


Photo of Supervisor Pete Candland courtesy of Board of County Supervisors Photo of Supervisor Pete Candland courtesy of Board of County Supervisors

Opinion piece by Supervisor Pete Candland (R-Gainesville)

Friday night, May 6the Board of County Supervisors will set the tax rate for the FY17 budget, and the choices are very clear.

The county executive has proposed a 3.88 percent tax increase that will increase county spending and expand county government by $90 million in the next year alone.

That tax hike was based on a five-year plan that assumed a robust economy that would skyrocket out of the effects of the Great Recession. Unfortunately, our economy continues to be sluggish, hitting mid to low income earners the hardest.

Federal budget cuts in defense and support services have hurt the Northern Virginia economy, and Prince William County families have been particularly hard hit.

In addition, senior retirees and military families cost of living adjustments (COLAs) were set at 0 percent because of a stagnant economy. This means that any tax increase would cut right into the ability of many people to pay their bills, businesses to hire new employees, and families to save for their future.

Now is not the time for a large tax increase.

Several other supervisors and I have proposed a plan that will keep the tax rate flat from last year and provide tax relief for families and businesses in Prince William County. The split on the board is between those who believe each family’s income is best spent by the families who earned the money, and those who want to give more money to politicians and special interest groups at the McCoart government center to further expand government.

Over the last few weeks, the board of county supervisors has done the hard work to reduce spending for FY17 that will allow for a Flat Tax plan that will hold the tax rate at last year’s levels.

It is important to understand, however, that with a Flat Tax rate, County government will still increase spending by $23,895,996 in the upcoming year.

With a flat tax rate, Prince William County’s schools will still receive $19,201,568 more in taxpayer funds than last year.

Claims that holding taxes at a flat tax rate will result in deep cuts in existing budgets for County services and the schools is simply not true. A flat tax rate will only reduce the increase in spending for our local government.  And in this economy, that increased government spending is both unfair to taxpayers and completely unjustified.

Citizens have already spoken loudly that they support the Flat Tax rate, but adding your voice on Friday, May 6 at the board of county supervisors meeting -- to stand up for taxpayers and bring ever-expanding government spending under control -- is critical.

Call, email, or speak at Citizens Time at Friday’s meeting and your voice will go a long way in telling the Board of County Supervisors that you want to hold the line on county spending and that you support a Flat Tax rate. Make your voice heard.

This is an opinion piece. The opinions expressed within represent those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of Bristow Beat LLC, its staff or sponsors.

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