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Budget Presented Monday

February 8, 2009


Saturday morning I drove around the Sterling district at 7 a.m. for the purpose of auditing the effort by the county to enforce the personal property tax for automobiles. I have filed a report with the county treasurer after finding 100 cars in four different locations that do not pay county taxes.

Some of these unregistered cars may be visitors seeing family. Or new arrivals. I will check during the week in a follow up visit-at six a.m. (earlier) and will keep you informed. Tnere are large commercial vans, and trucks, also parked without paying county taxes in residentail areas. At 7 A.M. Saturday, these vehicles are not on duty or on delivery so there is no good reason why these law breakers do not pay county taxes.

At our last meeting just a few days ago, both Treasurer Roger Zurn and Commissioner of the Revenue Bob Wertz promised Sterling residents they will seek to collect taxes from people or companies that should pay them.

Saturday morning the Sterling Foundation was out working on Sterling Boulevard. They are out there four times a year.  The Sterling Foundation is on schedule to plant trees in the Fall of 2009 for Phase II --the rest of the way south in the median to Shaw Road.  The Foundation has a grant application for Phase III for the side roads to receive trees. My goal is to eventually bring the total number of new trees to 1,000 on Sterling Boulevard with local donations and some limited state funds collected from tourists and the gas tax.

The PARK VIEW RECYCLING CENTER is next to the HS bus parking and football stadium,

Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phonebooks, office paper and junk mail (Please note: The Red bin is for newspapers only, and the Dark Green bins are for magazines and catalogs. The proceeds from newspapers and magazines collected in the bins directly benefit The Sterling Foundation.) That's $4,000 for mowing the grass every summer!

I noticed the county calendar has crashed.

This is the "Budget" calendar, it does not include "regular" Board meetings, hearings and committee meetings.

Monday Feb. 9 - Budget Presentation at 4 p.m.
Tuesday Feb. 10 - Budget Overview at 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday Feb. 25 - Public Hearing at 6:00 p.m. (Government Center)
Thursday Feb. 26 - Public Hearing at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. (Government Center)
Saturday Feb. 28 - Public Hearing at 10 a.m.- Noon and 12:30-2:30 p.m. (to be held at the School Board Admin. Bldg./Board Room)
Wednesday March 4 - Budget Worksession with Loudoun County Public Schools at 6:30 p.m. (to be held at the School Board Admin. Bldg./Board Room)
All these meetings are public meetings but only the three "Hearings" allow for public comment on the agenda.
>>> $200,000,000.00 Budget Gap

I will get you all details but this is the largest gap in my 9 years on the board of supervisors. It is due to the economic downturn with assessments going down and tax collections going down as well.

For many years, I have proposed reductions in government spending and gotten only some of these reforms through. Don't expect the Washington Post to report that revenues from the Claude Moore Community Center are +$500,000.00 making it a zero impact on taxpayers.  Newspapers are reporting my long condemned effort to increase the one penny in taxes on hybrid vehicles in Loudoun County up to one dollar so that the county will recover $600,000.00. Now, thanks to many of you that wrote, six supervisors have voted to start reversing the "penny" tax on hybrid cars.

Only Chairman Scott York agreed with me for a total of 2 Supervisors voting to recover the full $2.6 million being donated to owners of hybrid cars in Loudoun County. 7 supervisors voted "no" to treat new hybrid car owners the same as the rest of us who drive cars doing just as well with mileage and gas economy!

I proposed recovering $18,000,000.00 in lost revenue from corporate jets and giant airplanes. No one voted for it. I proposed late fee collections, serious fundraising, and more fees and admission collections from parks and recreation.Even Superintendant Ed Hatrick endorsed some of these ideas back in August. I warned that if the county did not do anything about illegal aliens, we would suffer with assessments dropping and crime increases  No one on the board has supported these ideas. I have seen few suggestions for either revenue being enhanced or major reductions. Most of the supervisors will wait for Mr. Kirby Bowers to offer his plan Monday February 9 at 4 p.m.

I predict that even with the five percent, ten percent and 15 percent reductions we have asked Mr. Bowers to recommend, it will be a long budget process, there will be many significant reductions and in the end a major tax increase that will make all the other tax increases look small by comparison.

During the great economic times, I did not vote for tax increases. Don't expect me to vote for massive tax increases on already burdened Sterling Americans who are already suffering from plummetting assessments, job losses, tax increases each year for several years.

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