In 2011 Loudoun county voters elected Republicans to fill all nine positions on the Board of Supervisors. They were elected because voters believed that we had been Taxed Enough Already. Loudoun had the highest property tax rate from the Mason-Dixon line to the Gulf of Mexico. This board has been true to their word and lowered taxes every year. What began as a property tax rate of $1.30 per $100 of assessed value in 2011 has been lowered each year to the present rate of $1.205 with the current budget proposing another reduction to $1.15. While that wouldn’t lower our rate to the current rate in Fairfax, which is on the increase, it is another step in the right direction.
In 2011 voters also elected 6 Republicans to the Loudoun School Board. They too promised to be good stewards of our money and to help lower our taxes. As candidates they were committed to reigning in the enormous school budget and Superintendent Edgar Hatrick’s bloated bureaucracy. Those Republicans are:
At-Large – Thomas Reed
Algonkian District – Debbie Rose
Blue Ridge District – Jill Turgeon
Broad Run District – Kevin Kuesters
Dulles District – Jeff Morse
Leesburg District – William Fox
Currently these 6 members of the Loudoun School board are NOT behaving as fiscal conservatives who care about the taxpayers. They have voted to support Dr. Hatrick’s budget that would include a 13% increase in the schools’ budget, a total INCREASE of $108 million! The Board of Supervisors has proposed giving the schools an 8% increase in their operating budget, a total of $70 million dollars. This increase is to fund an estimated 2,375 new students and the opening of 3 new schools. The actual amount needed to fund these increases is only $32 million. The Board of Supervisors is proposing a budget that includes TWICE what the school system needs to accommodate the three new schools and the 2,375 new students, and yet that isn’t good enough for our School Board! (My opinion is they should give the schools $32 Million, not $70 million.) An increase of $70 million would fully fund raises for all teachers and administrators, as well continued payments of their benefits package, and a reduction in all class sizes. Yet that is still not good enough for the School Board and Hatrick.
The School Board agreed to cut Dr. Hatrick’s demands by only $2 million, while handing to the Board of Supervisors a demand for additional funding in Fiscal Year 15 of $108 Million for a mere 2,375 new students! Where is the School Board’s fiscal responsibility? Surely they could find additional cuts in the schools’ budget of nearly $1 BILLION! (Start with the administrators. Cut at least half of them and no parent or child will notice the difference.)
At the proposed new tax rate of $1.15 the county cannot meet the demand of the School Board for an additional increase of $108 million to their annual budget. The proposed $1.15 tax rate is the “equalization rate” which would mean no tax increases for the average Loudoun County home owner despite the rise in assessments. However, this rate will not be possible if the Board of Supervisors meets the demands of the School Board. Do you want a tax increase so that the schools can have an increased budget of more than three times what they need to accommodate new schools and new students?
Teacher’s unions from Loudoun County, as well as Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, have organized to put pressure on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors to give into the full demands of the School Board. They are scaring every parent with dire predictions of what will happen to their children if the demands of the schools are not met. To meet those outrageous demands, every home owner in Loudoun county will face a tax increase. How is that fair, or responsible? I am appalled at the lack of fiscal responsibility on this School Board. Every one of them voted for this outrageous school budget! I am shocked that Republicans on the School Board would be so irresponsible with our money.
If you are concerned about these demands from the School Board, demands that will result in a tax increase, please contact the Board of Supervisors. You can email through the link or email all of them at [email protected]. They have received thousands of emails from teachers and their unions as well as frightened parents. If you don’t want an increase in your taxes, please contact the board. Even better, please consider speaking directly to the Board of Supervisors at their public hearing on March 1st, between 9:00 am and noon in the LCPS Administration building, 21000 Education Court, Ashburn, VA. The unions will be out in full force so please speak up for the taxpayers at this important hearing.