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Board Refuses Spending Cuts

March 30, 2008

The board will have a "public input" session Monday night starting at 6:30 p.m. It will be the last time we hear "officially" from the public before our business meeting on April lst when the board sets the tax rate.

Over 400 citizens have come Monday nights in the last 2 months.

Most of you want me to continue to fight for reductions and I promise to continue to push reductions.

This is a report from the "tax increase" front.

GOOD NEWS

The good news is that many millions of dollars in reductions were accepted by a majority of the board to being the proposed tax rate of $1.21 down to $1.15. That was about about $50 million in "enhancements" and spending eliminated.

BAD NEWS

The liberal board majority does not seem to want to go below that $1.15 rate which is a massive increase from the current 96 cent rate (an increase of 19 cents).

VERY BAD NEWS

The bad news is that the board rejected dozens of my proposals to reduce spending by an additional $70 million to bring the budget down to $1.07.

I have followed through and proposed many millions of dollars in reductions to the spending by the county and most of my suggestions were voted down.

Last week I made recommendations of $50 million in reductions on the county side. And I have been attacking $19 million in tax subsidies to for profit corporations in recent days.

On March 18, Tuesday, I made recommendations to eliminate all taxpayer funds going to regional organizations (over $1,000,000) and other motions.

And on Wendesday March 19 I publicly announced my advisory recommendations to reduce spending in the schools by $50,000,000.00.

So the votes on are in from budget workessions this past Wendnesday, March 26.

ALL OF THESE MOTIONS FAILED.

SO I WILL PROPOSE THEM AGAIN TUESDAY.

Most times, when I proposed something, there was no second. Not one voted in support.

Sometimes there would be a second usually from Republican Lori Waters, and once by Scott York. And then there would be 7 NO VOTES usually.

You have heard from me about the tax credits to rich corporations several times. All those motions failed. That's $19 million in tax dollars that all of us agree is a waste of taxpayer money.

Motions to eliminate $16 million in subsidies to airplanes and lear jets at Leesburg airport, $2 million for new hybrid cars, $1 million for satilite production, $ for broad band wireless. All motions failed.

No one supported my motion to remove the $3.5 million tax exemption for Howard Hughes.

No one supported my motion to remove $1.5 million in contributions to charities and non-profits across the board. No one supported my motion to eliminate $300,000 in a "gift" to the Loudoun Museum.

No one would have been hurt and no one fired due to my $22.5 million in cuts above.

You could have had your tax bill reduced by 3 cents.

Only two supervisors supported my call to eliminate $3 million in vacant jobs filled by no one. These are jobs that are empty and no one is in them but we have $3 million in the budget for them.

>>>>>Regarding Schools.

I told the board that we needed to reduce spending more to get the tax rate down to $1.07.

I proposed separate and specific motions to reduce spending or increase revenue for the schools to cut your tax rate.

ALL OF THEM FAILED. EVERY ONE OF MY MOTIONS FAILED.

After reviewing the Superintendent's proposed FY09 operating budget, speaking to and reading suggestions from School Board members and listening to teachers and parents, below are several suggestions for reaching a budget that delivers quality schools without burdening working families with an unaffordable tax load.

They entail over $50,000,000 in reductions and revenue enhancements that do not sacrifice the quality of classroom education. I asked the Board of Supervisors to consider endorsing this as a non-binding advisory to the school board.

Only one or two supervisors joined me during the vote. But even those who voiced support abstained or voted "no".

>>>>Late Breaking: Proposal To Dip Into Reserves?

$36 million has been found and its your money. And if enough supervisors agree, the tax rate could be further reduced to $1.10. Still too high for me as it would be a increase of 14 cents.

A board member has announced that the supervisor will place a motion on the table Tuesday to use $36 million of Loudoun County's $108.4 million reserve fund to get the new Loudoun Tax rate down to a $1.10 tax rate.

This will still leave $72 million in the reserve.

Is the current crisis a good enough time to use a small portion of our reserve to reduce the tax rate? What is your opinion. I will vote to reduce your tax rate any time it is proposed.

I feel using some of the reserve to reduce the tax rate would not risk anything.

I am bloodied but unbowed and will go on with your prayers and God's help.

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