The $1 tax rate being discussed by Prince William supervisors for fiscal 2009 could leave some businesses seeing double-digit increases in their bills, and that's a scenario that begs reversing, said one board member.
See, the problem is that while residential property values are dropping, business values are not.
The county's most recent figures show the $1 tax rate that's been advertised will lead to an estimated 8.5 percent increase in fiscal 2009 tax bills for the average homeowner. At the same time, business owners could see up to a 32 percent increase in their bills, said county finance director Chris Martino.
Corey Stewart understands this problem, although I wish I had seen him quoted about it BEFORE the unfortunate "compromise" was reached last week. Maybe he's been talking. But don't expect that now that the board understands what they've done, that they will fix it. Because some of them don't see this as a problem:
"I don't see any negative impact from the $1 rate on business," said Supervisor Maureen Caddigan, R-Dumfries.
And John Jenkins, D-Neabsco, saw the issue as just another "cost of doing business … and [no] cause for concern."
(county finance director) Martino, reminded of the tax relief experienced by the business sector these past few years due to market conditions that depreciated commercial values,said that those reduced bills should "kind of offset the increases" that are now on the horizon.
I'm picturing those three monkeys:
Apparently, businesses hit with thousands of dollars in new taxes, at the same time citizens are paying higher fuel and food bills, as well as their own huge new taxes on their houses, won't actually HURT anybody, because, well, where are they going to go?:
"We're competitive … and still have one of the lowest rates in the area, and I look at other counties, they're raising rates, too," Hendershot said. "So I don't see [the rate] being an impact on whether or not businesses are moving to the county.
But at least one person is quoted in the article that gets it:
From Laurie Wieder, president of the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, comes this point: Any increase to business should really be viewed as an increase to the taxpayer, as tax hikes on the former are often passed along as price hikes to the latter.
"The concern is when you raise the tax [on businesses], that makes it more difficult to provide for consumers," she said. "The increase is going to hit business hard and that has an impact on the consumer … it makes it more difficult for businesses to create jobs and to provide the goods and services that consumers want."
But remember, Maureen says it's no big deal. It's getting harder and harder to figure out why Caddigan thinks she is a Republican.