To the Editor:
Reminiscent of the movie "Groundhog Day," if it is March, it is time for the MVCCA to enact a budget resolution in time to be considered by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (BOS) during its budget deliberations. Invariably, the resolution urges the BOS to raise every category of tax to the maximum amount possible in order to fund the grand designs of MVCCA leaders. This year is no exception.
In the MVCCA's "Record," for March 2015, its Budget and Finance Committee has proposed a resolution that will be voted upon this week after the submission deadline for letters to the Gazette. If past is prologue, the resolution will be enacted with little or no revision.
The proposed resolution requests that the BOS (1) choose the "maximum real estate tax rate" it advertised, (2) approve a "Meals Tax Referendum," (3) raise the BPOL tax rates "to more closely correspond to the tax rates in surrounding jurisdictions," (4) increase "proffers from real estate development," (5) "assess and impose transportation impact fees on any development needing a building permit," and others. While any rational person would realize that these proposals could not possibly fly in an election year (except for perhaps the real estate tax rate), apparently this reality has not dawned on the MVCCA's leaders.
The MVCCA's membership list of community associations continues to diminish. According to its website, it now has only 42 member associations. A couple of years ago, in response to a FOIA request, I was informed that there were 228 community associations in the Mount Vernon District at that time. Thus, the MVCCA represents fewer than 20 percent of those associations and even a lower percentage of the residents of the Mount Vernon District since numerous neighborhoods are not served by a community association, mandatory or otherwise.
Under these circumstances, the MVCCA's resolutions certainly deserve consideration but cannot possibly be considered dispositive of the views of the community as a whole. Instead, they should be considered representative of the views of those who drafted the resolution and the community associations whose representatives vote to enact it. Given recent history, I predict around 20 community associations will be represented when the proposed resolution is voted upon. Over the past 6 months, attendance has averaged 19 community associations.
H. Jay Spiegel