In a rather anticlimactic move yesterday, PWC supervisors locked in a $1.21 tax rate per hundred. The tax rate can always be lowered but cannot be raised. The vote was predictable. According to the Washington Post:

The spending plan County Executive Craig S. Gerhart proposed last month would reduce services, suspend road construction, freeze salaries and tap reserves to close a $190 million shortfall projected for the fiscal year that begins in July.

The $1.21 rate is the second highest in the metro area. However, looking at the bottom line, it certainly is not the most expensive real estate taxation. Plummeting property values have caused an overall reduction in property taxes. Most homes will find the real estate taxes cut by about $400.

Chairman Stewart, who opened the meeting by commenting on the federal stimulus package money, had this predictably partisan remark to say about the new tax rate:

“I believe the way to spur the economy is by cutting taxes, not raising them. It comes down to a philosophical divide,” board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) said. “Prince William is the only Republican-led jurisdiction in the D.C.-metro area. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise we’re cutting taxes.”

It will be the job of the supervisors to not gut our county services, There is always the chance that someone hoping to appeal to the no new taxes crowd will also try to make an end run to reduce taxes even more by setting a lower tax rate than advertised. All we know now is that the $1.21 rate is the ceiling. Even if $1.21 is set as the new rate, we are still not sure what county services will remain in tact.

Many of us here on Anti have compared how much value our homes have lost since the county assessments were put online. Now we can brag how much our taxes have been reduced. To calculate your new bottom line if you live in the county: Find your assessment, divide by 100, and multiply by 1.212. I am going to bet the Westgate people win the bragging rights on most lowered taxes.

What are the critical services that we must retain to preserve quality of life here in Prince William County? Did the new stimulus money help the schools enough? Will one of the supervisors try to alter the amount given to the schools because of stimulus money? Now that would just be WRONG.

7 Thoughts to “PWC Property Taxes Set at $1.21: 2nd Highest in Metro Area”

  1. So now the tax rate has become a partisan issue?

    This man is the KING of “divide and conquer,” isn’t he?

    So much for working together as a team to find solutions.

    What a jerk.

  2. IVAN

    So tell me again, exactly which higher office is Stewart running for? Perhaps Jeff Frederick’s position as Chairman of the RPV?

  3. Poor Richard

    When comparing tax rates it is worthwhile to include a comparison
    of the average value of the homes being taxed. For example,
    if the average home in Fairfax is 400K and the average home in
    PWC is 200K then PWC would have to double Fairfax’s tax rate to generate
    the same revenue per unit. The challenge is that while the
    revenue will not be the same, the cost of government services
    (education, public safety, etc.) can be nearly equal per house.

  4. Poor Richard

    FYI – Today’s New York Times website has a preview of their next
    series piece on immigration – this one on employment. Interesting.

  5. Censored bybvbl

    Stewart’s quote – that you cited above – is probably not what the Republican party would like to be reminded of as far as it relates to PWC. We’ve become the armpit of the metro region – the most foreclosures, an economy that relies on consumerism (Potomac Mills, etc.) to bail us out at a time when people are tightening their belts, an Immigration Resolution that many people see as xenophobic, a BOCS unwilling to adopt a tax rate that provides competitive services with the surrounding jursidictions, and a wingnut faction of the party which has hurried this failure on its way.

  6. ShellyB

    Censored, you hit the nail on the head. I hope Corey Stewart keeps reminding NoVA that PWC is the only Republican “led” county around here. Often.

  7. Moon-howler

    It sounds like the Republican Party has other fish to fry–trying to oust their ex-fair-haired child. I am not a Republican and I don’t follow all the ins and outs of either party, but I almost feel sorry for Jeff Frederick. He sure has a lot of wolves nipping at his heels.

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