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Votes

More Density Means Higher Taxes

To the Editor:

I am not surprised by our City Council decision to increase taxes. Given a choice to spend or not to spend, they revert to form. After all, each and every one is a good Democrat, which means their natural inclination is to spend and tax. Their varying reasons for taking ever more money from the public is also genuine.

They really do want to improve; to provide and to enable residents to have a safer community replete with public services galore, not to mention more schools to accommodate the burgeoning growth of new students.

But there is an exception. It, in turn, creates a dichotomy. The exception is our City Council tactic to use density to mitigate the tax burden they impose on existing city residents. Their notion, best I can make it out, is by cramming more people, structures and automobiles into Alexandria, there will be more taxpayers; ergo, more tax revenue. And herein lay the dichotomy.

As density occurs in small ways and large, reducing the quality of life for current residents thanks to congested roads, schools, public facilities, neighborhoods, etc, taxes do not go down; they go up. More density may create more revenue but nowhere near enough to pay for the costly services and facilities, especially schools, required to placate new residents.

Our City Council’s pursuit of density in all its forms is driving up your taxes. More people, cars, structures crammed into the finite space called Alexandria is triggering a catch-up need for more costly public services. These additional costs are passed on to current residents who have to pay more taxes for an ever-diminishing quality of life.

My solution: Apart from term limits, get rid of the Jim Crow era at-large election format. Instead, enfranchise neighborhoods to elect someone residing in their community to an expanded City Council. The process today of giving the most popular members of one political party the city purse strings is not good governance even if they do mean well.