Demonstrating their usual flair for having it both ways, our all-Republican Loudoun Board of Supervisors is continuing its spin campaign on the recent budget vote, sending out a barrage of self-congratulatory “news[sic]” letters in which they assert simultaneously that:
(a) we have provided “much needed tax relief”
(b) we have provided “major enhancements” to the school budget
They have reached this conclusion not by repealing the laws of arithmetic, as natural a recourse as that might be for this Board given their recent failure to grasp the subtle mathematical fact that it takes 5 votes to constitute a majority on a board consisting of 9 members, but through the arguably even more natural recourse for them, namely lying.
As Loudoun’s Republican officials themselves now finally admit (after vehemently denying it for decades of the party’s rampantly pro-developer policies), property taxes generated by new residential growth pay for only 60 percent of the services that those new houses cost the county, mainly schools.
This year, just to keep up with Loudoun’s ever-growing school population, the school budget would have had to grow by 3.8 percent. Instead the Supervisors voted to provide only 2.5 percent, leaving a $20 million shortfall.
But that did not prevent Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) from mendaciously asserting as follows in his latest “news[sic]” letter:
“Major enhancements in the FY 2014 budget were in the Board’s priority areas of education and public safety, mainly to keep pace with population growth.”
Yes, except the FY 2014 school budget does not come even close to keeping pace with population growth. In fact, the Board provided only 75 percent of the new funding actually needed to accommodate the 2,500 additional new pupils being added to the rolls come September.
But Williams is very proud that by axing that needed school funding — excuse me, by “enhancing” the school budget but by an amount that fell drastically short of the amount needed just to keep pace with population growth — he was able to provide that “much-needed tax relief” to the suffering homeowners of his district. How much tax relief? Get ready for it:
“For Broad Run District homeowners, this rate will represent on average a $74 tax cut compared with last year’s tax bill.”
We stand in awe of this achievement. Even if it took a lie to get there.