Don’t forget mom and apple pie, too

Say what you will about Chairman Scott York’s (“how sweet it is”) all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors — they may slash funding for schools, mental health services, and the arts; “forget” for six months to turn over to prosecutors incriminating documents regarding the corrupt financial shenanigans of Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling); pack advisory boards and commissions with party hacks and development industry representatives; arrange multi-million dollar government loans to major campaign contributors; waste tens of thousands of dollars on the loony pseudo-scientific theories about Lyme disease of major local Republican player and right-wing religious nut job Micahel Farris — but they certainly like baseball!

Besides chipping in $50,000 of tax money to pay the “fee” so a private local organization could be selected to host one of the numerous “world series” put on each year by Babe Ruth Baseball and offering all sorts of favored treatment to the non-existent Loudoun Hounds extremely minor league baseball team and its extremely generous (to GOP candidates) owner Bob Farren, the Board is now pushing a plan to give a substantial property tax break to private owners of baseball fields.

Under the proposal being considered this morning by the Board’s Transportation and Land Use Committee, ball fields would henceforth deemed to be  “open space” that qualifies for reduced land use taxation. The “open space” category is supposed to be for land that is set aside for parks, wetlands, or historic or scenic value. Although this proposal apparently would not apply to commercial enterprises, it still is not clear who it is intended to benefit, what a ball field contributes to environmental conservation, or what its rationale even is.

Under current rules a privately owned park “for public or community use” can be eligible for the reduced land-use taxation. The proposed change would apparently make even private ball fields not open to the public or community eligible.

Would it be prying if we, the public, asked where this proposal is coming from to give a tax subsidy to private athletic fields operated for private purposes?

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