Front Page, Print Edition, Potomac News:
New home prices may rise by $37,000
Supervisors vote to increase builder's contributions to county
The price of a new single-family home in the county could increase by as much as $37,719 following a vote Tuesday by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors.
Of course, this is wrong. The board didn't increase the proffers BY $37,719, they increased the proffers TO $37,719.
I'm sure tomorrow's paper will have a correction somewhere -- it's already corrected on the online edition.
Speaking of increasing the proffers -- it's a good trick if you can pull it off. Proffers are in fact VOLUNTARY contributions made by builders, often in order to win support for changes to current zoning. It's really a form of a bribe to get the government to do what it should do as a matter of course.
A more rational mechanism to raise the funds would be to impose a new home tax on the purchasers. They pay the proffers anyway, and this would make it clear who is really paying.
It will never happen, because government truly wants to hide all the taxes we pay. So we have rules preventing gas stations from advertising the actual price of gas, instead hiding the gas taxes in the totals. We have withholding of Income Tax so that come April 15, many people are actually HAPPY because they get their own money back. We get charged user fees instead of taxes, and many taxes are applied to the companies we deal with so the taxes are built into the price we pay.
So the Virginia Senate wants to raise gas taxes, but wants to hide the fact since everybody (except Russ Potts, bless his liberal soul) promised last year that there wouldn't be an increase in the gas tax.
Instead, they have a plan to tax the wholesalers. But the tax won't be passed on to us, the consumers, because the Senate is going to write the law so they CAN'T pass the tax on. Which guarantees that when they DO pass it on, we won't know it.