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PabloCruz · June 15, 2020 at 7:54 pm
MH-you’re correct. $800,000. My error
Mark House · June 15, 2020 at 7:52 pm
PabloCruz - "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."
Is that $800,000?
Agree with your statement. Our neighbor pays less real estate tax then we do on 3 acres, and they have 150 acres more land.
PabloCruz · June 15, 2020 at 6:22 pm
From Fauquier Real Estate online:
5790 Leeds Manor Rd. 50.5 acres in VOF Easement valued (land only) for tax purposes @ $195,200.
Land is divided into 2 parcels:
A 1 ac. homesite valued at $180,000.
The remaining 49.5 ac. valued at $15,200.
From June 8:
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 beginning to address 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 isn't aware, The Windy Hill Foundation (which was started by some of the people that hold these easements) is a "charitable" organization that has built and operates several "workforce" rental 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 rent 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.
The starting pay of a B.A. level teacher in Fauquier? $44,800.
With partisan politics exerting an almost unbreakable stranglehold on Washington, we need our local government working in conjunction with citizens to implement revenue solutions that are locality-specific. We can't expect Richmond to change the composite index to benefit Fauquier, when Fauquier has intentionally devalued its assets, and thus skewed its ability to pay. This is just common sense.
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. Failing to begin to address these unfair policies will ensure our continued movement toward an oligarchy. No democracy in history has ever survived with the level of income inequality that is being experienced today in the United States. This is not normal.
Let's approach this issue from a perspective of basic fairness and common sense. The fact that we need the Windy Hill Foundation at all is a failure. It means that we don't pay our public servants enough to be self-sufficient. Let's change that for good.
Lately I keep hearing that "we're all in this together." Let's see if that's true.