By Paul Prados, 11th Congressional District Republican Chairman
Recently our House of Delegates Member Jim LeMunyon wrote to his constituents in the 67th District asking the question "Does Fairfax County Need a Meals Tax?".
I wanted to share with the voters just a few of his excellent points on why you should Vote No on the proposed meals tax on November 8th.
First, the proposed new tax is 4% on top of the existing 6% sales tax for a total of a 10% tax on every meal in the County.
This would be an additional $100 million in new taxes after the Democratic controlled Board of Supervisors raised our real estate taxes by $100 million, a 6% increase, already this year.
Second, 70% of the new meals tax money is to go for schools because Fairfax County Public Schools need to be "more competitive" in teacher compensation. Yet, last year FCPS filled about 1,000 teaching positions where over 15,000 teachers applied for those positions. Those teachers thought the compensation was very competitive.
Did you also know that retired Fairfax County employees are eligible for two pensions, rather than just one, until a retiree is old enough to receive Social Security benefits? This second pension is virtually unheard of anywhere else in government or the private sector.
The Pro-Tax crowd wants you to believe the state is not providing enough funding for schools. However, Fairfax County Public Schools are receiving a record amount of state tax dollars this year: $632 million. Another $30 million is already added for the budgeted 2017-18 school year and this represents a 29 percent increase in funding over the past five years.
The problem for Fairfax County lies in the Democrat controlled Board of Supervisors and School Board that find it easier to put their hand in your pocket rather than tightening their bloated budgets. In Richmond, Virginia's state budget general fund is actually smaller than it was ten years ago, even with inflation and population growth.
And what about the expected tax revenue windfall of tens of millions of dollars from all the new development in Tysons Corner and the Dulles Corridor? Enough is enough.
We need to go to the polls on November 8th and Vote No to defeat the meals tax referendum. We need to send a strong message to the Board of Supervisors to stop the spending and fix your budgets!