After Fairfax County Executive Tony Griffin’s presentation of the 2003 budget to the Board of Supervisors Monday, several anti-tax groups held their own press conference at the Fairfax County Government Center.
They asked for a cut in the rate of the real estate tax in Fairfax County and protested proposals for increases in the state sales and income taxes.
Springfield Supervisor Elaine McConnell (R) attended just long enough to ask Jim Parmalee of Republicans United for Tax Relief whom he represents. Parmalee said the group has 10,000 members.
Fairfax County Tax Alliance President Arthur Purves then took the podium, but before he asked Fairfax County officials to reduce the present real estate tax from $1.23 per $100 of real estate value to $1.06, McConnell walked out, saying she had to return to the board meeting. In the corridor outside, she paused long enough to give interviews to two television news crews, saying Fairfax County taxpayers get too little return on their state of Virginia tax dollars
Later, Supervisor Gerry Connolly (D-Providence) characterized the Purves tax cut proposal as “irresponsible rhetoric.”
As the press conference continued, Purves reiterated his central message: since 1975, when the budget was $214 million, spending by Fairfax County government has grown faster than population and inflation, he said.
Pointing to a graph projected on the wall, Purves said the County’s $2.3 billion budget should be $1.03 billion.
Northern Virginia Coalition to Stop the Sales Tax (NVCSST) Chairman Peter Ferrara said the group opposes all referenda to raise state sales and income taxes. He said mismanagement has created a backlog in transportation and school construction.
“We don’t need another tax during a recession,” he said.
Denny Daugherty, representing the Prince William County Taxpayers Alliance, said the group expects a cut in Prince William’s residential tax rate to be announced Feb. 26.
“We can too,” said Ed Rothschild, a member of the McLean Citizens Association’s Budget and Taxation Committee. “Then we can have schools like Prince William County.”