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Prince William County supervisors will advertise a potential 7% increase in real estate tax bills for county homeowners.

Early Wednesday morning, the Board of County Supervisors voted 5-3 on party lines to advertise the proposed tax rates for fiscal year 2022 for a public hearing.

Democratic supervisors Kenny Boddye, Occoquan District; Andrea Bailey, Potomac; Victor Angry, Neabsco; Ann Wheeler, At Large; and Margaret Franklin, Woodbridge, voted in favor of the rates. Republican supervisors Jeanine Lawson, Brentsville; Yesli Vega, Coles; and Pete Candland, Gainesville, voted against them.

County Executive Chris Martino has proposed a $1.35 billion budget for fiscal 2022, which starts July 1, along with a $1.02 billion six-year Capital Improvement Program. The capital program includes $224.8 million for the upcoming fiscal year.

Residential real estate and personal property tax rates are not proposed to increase, although the average homeowner will pay more due to higher assessments under the spending plan.

The board is not bound by the advertised rates. The advertisement only represents a ceiling, and the board can adopt rates lower than advertised.

The board’s discussion on the rates stretched past midnight. Republicans said higher tax bills would hurt struggling families during the coronavirus pandemic, while some Democrats said the budget provides vital services to people in need.

“This budget is so tone deaf to what is happening in our economy right now, in my opinion, we’re just so far off,” Candland said.

The real estate rate will be advertised at $1.125 per $100 of assessed value, but rising property values are expected to increase the average residential homeowner’s tax bill by $306, according to county staff.

The budget proposal says residential real estate values increased by an average of 7%, while commercial real estate values dropped an average of 4.5%. The increased assessments would result in an effective tax increase for residential properties, but a drop for commercial.

For example, a home valued at $400,000 in 2020 would be worth $428,000 for tax purposes in 2021, at a 7% increase. If the real estate tax rate remains the same, the homeowner’s taxes would go up from $4,500 to $4,815.

Budget Director David Sinclair has said the real estate tax rate would need to drop to around $1.05 per $100 of assessed value to avoid the effective increase. Reducing the rate, he said, would cut proposed revenues by $51.2 million, of which $29.3 million would come from the allocation to the school division, with the other $21.9 million going to the county’s general fund.

Vega made a motion to advertise a real estate tax rate of $1.052 per $100 of assessed value. It failed on a party-line vote.

During public comment at Tuesday’s meeting, several people spoke about the tax rates. The speakers were relatively split both in favor of the proposed rates and against it.

While many of those who opposed keeping the tax rate flat because of the impact of the pandemic, Franklin noted that the budget provides vital services to those in need.

“I want to be careful when we say we have an irresponsible budget because there are a lot of people who benefit from this budget,” she said.

Franklin said if the county doesn’t keep the rate flat, it will be “hard-pressed to find revenue in other places.”

Lawson said the county is “overtaxing people” and has “a spending problem, not a revenue problem.”

The personal property tax, which primarily applies to vehicles, is advertised to remain at $3.70 per $100 of value.

The spending plan calls for a $1.60 tax per $100 of value on business computers and peripheral equipment, a 25-cent hike over the current rate. That levy primarily applies to data centers.

Angry said he didn’t support the increased tax rate for data centers, but voted to advertise the higher rate to start discussions.

“I don’t think just because the data centers thrive we should just arbitrarily go snatch a quarter,” he said.

Lawson said if Angry didn’t support the higher rate, the county should go ahead and advertise a lower one.

“What we put out there as an advertisement sets the tone,” she said. “I think this is a horrible time to pass a historic tax hike on homeowners. … Folks are hurting. People are still unemployed.”

Angry said he knew “what the optics look like on getting this set,” but the advertisement was necessary to start conversations on the spending plan.

Vega, who has mentioned increasing the data center tax, said lowering the levy on the businesses would essentially be the county trying to “bail out big tech.”

The proposal also includes a 30-cent per pack tax on cigarettes, estimated to generate $3 million in revenue. The county currently does not have a cigarette tax.

The board will hold a public hearing on the budget during its March 9 meeting. The board is scheduled to adopt the budget in late April.

Nolan Stout covers Prince William County. Reach him at nstout@insidenova.com or @TheNolanStout on Facebook and Twitter.

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(27) comments

Ralf27

Thank you Dems ! You do realize we are going through COVID, and many folks are out of work. What a real pleasure it is to live in PWC ! I hope we can vote you Dems out next time, once and for all !!!

Lizzy

For those.that voted Democrat.. ..put up or SHUT UP!How else do you expect to PAY for all those flooding our boarder that will clean your toilets,mow your lawn and spread your mulch???ELECTIONS have consequences....!The cost of educating,feeding , housing and medical to the freeloaders is expensive and YOU VOTED to do THAT!!!!!!!!!

CeeHowUR

Dems, is this what you voted for? Remember in the next election. Its not too late to call and write your supervisor and ask them to lower the tax rate if they want your vote next election. And if you vote for them, you deserve what you get. Stop complaining to the rest of us.

toomanypeople

Chris Martino and 5 county board members need to be RECALLED. Too much of OUR money is being "played with" by these socialist spendthrifts. It's easier for them to TAKE other people's money than to rein in their enormous budget. That would require brain power, common sense and cooperation. Apparently, those are qualities they do NOT possess. BTW, it seems like every late-night county board meeting results in a personal monetary loss for the county residents.

Brad London

If you vote for those who love to spend your hard earned money recklessly, guess what they are going to do? Voting matters.

RobS

I think the counter point to "$25 a month" would be that some citizens would rather keep the $300 and spend it on their own needs. Those citizens might be slower to hire positions like the new "Equity and Inclusion Officer" role and others. What is the mission of government and how much creep should citizens expect? All that said, PWC's tax rate is still a good bit below the 1.569% that Manassas City recently rolled out, so at least county residents can be happy about that.

yorktown2021

What about the “pandemic” though? Ahhh, I thought we were all going to die? That’s right, it was designed to bankrupt as many people as possible, and now the thieves want more money.

derek005

Yorky, No need to spew lies again and get your facts straight. Remember, over 500,000 people have died so far and this pandemic is REAL! If you could have seen what my mother went through before she died of the virus, it would change you I bet.

So my tax bill goes up by $25 a month? The shock and horror of it all. As long as the services continue to benefit our neediest in the County, I’m good with it. I’m sure that those that are against this are the same ones that state that those that cannot afford to have babies should not having them (but also don’t want abortion to be legal), but do not say much about those that cannot afford their home anymore. 🤷🏽‍♂️

FixPrinceWilliam

JG, good point. $300 is groceries for a week. Any Christian should be willing to give that up to help those in need. A lot of people have stepped up to get the schools open for those who don't have daycare or need the extra help. It's great to see others fighting for the less fortunate. Hopefully, they will continue to fight for them by doing the right thing: improving their education, providing services for food and mental health, especially when COVID (or the China virus as Trump worshipers call it) has really crippled them.

On the flipside, the lack of fiscal responsibility is appalling. And if we keep kowtowing to these developers and mega-businesses, it's only going to get worse.

Hawkeye10

"JG, good point. $300 is groceries for a week. Any Christian should be willing to give that up to help those in need."

Not for you to decide. No offense. Its per the individual, not the government to play Robin Hood as they so well do.

"On the flipside, the lack of fiscal responsibility is appalling. And if we keep kowtowing to these developers and mega-businesses, it's only going to get worse."

Agreed.

So sorry sunshine that you’re feeling assaulted, but I’m enjoying reading your QAnon talking points. Please continue educating us.

Hawkeye10

May the article from the Orlando Sentinel speak for its self. Or are you too apprehensive to educate yourself, and rather listen to Don Lemon every night. You commis are good at following orders...

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/politics/os-ne-plakon-social-media-child-porn-bill-20210216-r6znjn6iuzgihm57rh72pzv4ay-story.html

Hawkeye10, I applaud Florida Rep Scott Plakon for his efforts and hope that he's successful, but what does that have to do with your hiding behind an alias to prevent you from taking responsibility for your actions? Or are you not prepared to come out about your own pedophilia, like your brother-in-arms Nathan Daniel Larson? Or are YOU Larson? Come on no, it'll be okay to finally come out and reveal your true self.

Hawkeye10

Oh, you "applaud" Scott Plkon, but continue to use Twitter and Facebook. I see a hit a little sweet spot with you. Larson is a disgusting P.O.S. you and I both know that. No ones "hiding" behind an alias Mr. George, if you dont like me calling you a commi, stop supporting them. Stop throwing shade at people who care about the Bill of Rights. Ya'll just wont stop now will ya, its always gotta be your way, doesn't it? As if your the Final Solution...You dont care about sovereignty, you just care about fighting for a cause that will always have you bound to a collective hierarchy you have no control over, so you do the very best you can at controlling at the local level.

Once again, some of us dont have the privilege of being protected by twitter and facebook. Nor do we want to hold that privilege either. but as long as it benefits you, and your causes, doesnt seem to bother you.

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Point #1 - this platform is neither Facebook or Twitter, so your fear of revealing who you are in unfounded.

Point #2 - the statement that I'm on Facebook or Twitter indicates that you are on it as well, which means you're "hiding in plain sight" as a coward would.

Point #3 - I have no control over anyone or anything, at any level.

Lastly, nice try in trying to insult Lawson, since you know that you and him see eye to eye on many things.....even more if I'm talking to Lawson himself.

Hawkeye10

Mr. George, I used to respect you, but now you have permanently lost my respect. This post alone shows how ignorant you are. You cant argue with an idiot, and I dont plan on it any further. Good luck in your future endeavors. You show great weakness when you come on here and compare me to some slob, but then again these are exactly the types of folks that represent you at the federal level. But your too ignorant to understand that. Have fun pandering and living a lie.

Surprisingly, I've never had anyone who respected me call me a "commi" - maybe "Comrade", but never commi (even though I thought it was "commie"). Of note, you still avoided the fact that you're hiding due to unfounded fear and it's quite humorous when you make the statement "your too ignorant" instead of "you're too ignorant", but it's par for the course for those that hide and parrot the verbiage of the right. Sad to see you go as one of my fans....so sad (by the way, that's called sarcasm Lawson).

Hawkeye10

Well, out of respect I hope people in your service oriented career have deemed you as a comrade had you so earned that title. Yep, my mistake, is is "You're," thank you Captain. Enough with the Lawson non-sense, I sent you an article showing how a platform you are a part of, refused to take down a disgusting child abuse video. What does that say about the platform? You can be as sarcastic as you want, but at the end of the day, If I want to post as Hawkeye10, ill post as Hawkeye10. Not everyone has the court of public opinion on their side as a politician. You chose this line of work. But your only concern is serving those who serve you, not the other way around.

The Internet as a whole hasn't done what they need to do to eliminate the sites and arrest those that prey on our youth into sex trafficking, so by your analogy, you're complicit in the contribution as well. And finally, of course you have the right to post however you'd like to post, but again, that does not eliminate the consequence of being called out as unfounded fear to have zero accountability in what you post in real life. Good day and God speed.

Hawkeye10

The internet as a whole? This is not a complicated issue, Jack Dorsey, the nose-pierced P.O.S., no better than Larson, wont take a child abuse video down from their platform. These people are hypocrites. How can you disagree with that? Its also not up to you to hold me accountable for what you deem as disparaging. This is a public forum. I hope to continue to discuss matters with you in the future, and I would like to apologize to you for calling you a "Commi." Your service to our country speaks for itself, so I commend and respect that.

Lizzy

Does that include all the FREE groceries that one can obtain at food banks and county sites? Maybe they should take the car payment and put it towards food.

Lizzy

This is what the Dems VOTED for -I say double the tax! When N. Virginia becomes more over populated with illegals that have their hand out for" FREE STUFF" that Biden promised them...we will need MORE money to pay for it all!

StaffordLiving

This is mostly word vomit. You are very divisive, immediately bringing up people who do not want to be taxed. But if you are divisive, you must be a Dem. Also, it is entirely possible to have sex and not have children. I did it throughout my entire college career. It is pretty simple.

yorktown2021

Thanks Joseph, I was hoping you’d comment to show us peasants how selfish we are with your grandiose virtual signaling. I know you’re a self loathing liberal who hates America. Keep up the good work.

yorktown2021, it’s great to know that you’re continuing to hide behind an alias, so no one knows who you are and have no accountability for your comments, which is line with the “Party of Accountability and Responsibility” - quite comical though.

Hawkeye10

In case you havent noticed, "Joseph George For Neabsco District," the 1st amendment is under full-fledged assault in this country. We cant all be privileged like you and be protected by Scum big-tech and the CCP. Let me put this mask on though, that will protect my 1st amendment right. Not everyone who posts on facebook like you, gets to retain their platform. Same with twitter, the same platform that will allow Child Pornography and wont allow freedom of the press.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/politics/os-ne-plakon-social-media-child-porn-bill-20210216-r6znjn6iuzgihm57rh72pzv4ay-story.html

So what does that say about you commi?

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