Wednesday, February 04, 2009

One Percent, and 650 Parts Per Million

Looking Ahead in Fairfax

Despite my best efforts, the citizens of Fairfax did not take my advice but instead elected Sharon Bulova to be the Chairman (Chairwoman?) of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors. Her margin of victory over Springfield District Supervisor Pat Herrity was about 1,200 votes out of about 103,000 cast, with a 50.0% to 48.8% percentage margin. I am proud to say that in my precinct, anyway, Mr. Herrity got about 60% of the vote.

So congratulations to Mrs. Bulova on her victory. However, Fairfax County is still faced with the legendary $650 million budget shortfall. Given that Fairfax County has about one million people, this means that the shortfall will cost $650 for every man, woman, and child in the county. For a family of four, that’s $2,600. Are we going to face this kind of average property tax hike? For us, that represents an increase of more than 50% over what we are paying now.

Clearly, the county needs to set its priorities straight and cut spending. I can’t imagine that all the money being spent is absolutely necessary, or that we will experience a deteriorated quality of life by finding greater efficiencies in county government. I hope Mrs. Bulova listens to the large percentage of constituents who are tired of the tax burden that has increased so rapidly in recent years. If she tries to pull a “Connolly and double our taxes again, she may find that she will be on the losing side of a lot more than 1,200 votes.