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PabloCruz · June 11, 2020 at 8:59 pm
According to Fauquier Real Estate online:
132.03 acres in Virginia Outdoors Foundation easement, sold for $1.7 million.
Valued for tax purposes at $34,400, or 2% of market value.
The board of supervisors has made drastic cuts to the 2021 budget and yet, has decided to continue to fund the Purchase of Development rights program at over $800,00 for next year. The exchange of development rights for cash and tax breaks, through the use of easements, is a massive transfer of wealth from working people to the rich. It is a perversion of the philosophy of land preservation. If we have any hope at all of addressing the meteoric rise in income inequality, these programs need to be ended immediately. The only exception should be for working farms that are income-tested, or for land that is preserved for the public benefit, and open to public use.
In case anyone doesn't know, The Windy Hill Foundation (which is run by many of the people that hold these easements) is a "charitable" organization that has built and operates several "workforce" housing projects in Marshall, The Plains, and Middleburg. As stated on their website, these units were built for the "workforce" i.e. teachers, firefighters, police officers, etc. and the occupant can receive a subsidy depending upon their income in comparison to the Area Median Income, AMI.
According to their website, Very Low Income for 1 person is
50% of AMI, or $44,100/year.
Guess what the starting pay for a teacher in Fauqier with a B.A. is?
With partisan politics exerting an almost unbreakable stranglehold on Washington, we need our local government working in conjunction with citizens to implement solutions that are locality-specific.
This is an easy solution. Suspend the PDR program immediately, and then begin a systematic audit of the tax policies that have made it so difficult to fund basic public services. If we fail to do this, there won't be a society to worry about. No civilization in history has ever survived with this level of inequality. This is not normal.
Let's fix the problem so that our public servants can live in dignity, and we don't need the Windy Hill Foundation at all.