Dear Neighbor,

This e-mail is a friendly reminder that there is less than 36 hours left to prevent more tax increases from your Board of Supervisors.

At 7:30pm tomorrow evening, the Board will vote on the FY2023 budget, which contains a $124 million spending increase over last year's budget, which is a county record.

To pay for this, the average Prince William County family will face a residential tax increase of $190 in addition to a brand new 4% Meals Tax levied on you every time you eat prepared food at a Prince William County dining establishment. This is in addition to the state sales tax.

Should the Board Democrats proposed budget be adopted on Tuesday, it would be the third straight year of near record residential tax increases since COVID and the inflation crisis began in early 2020. If adopted, the average cumulative increase in tax payments per home would spike above $1,400 per family versus if the Board had merely kept tax bills flat in these difficult times.
I have advocated for and proposed at least an equalized tax rate or real cuts in the average tax bill for county residents in each of these years, including a tax rate of $0.96 for the upcoming fiscal year, which would provide the average family, on average, a savings of $327 from the current Democrat proposal, and $155 less than last year's average bill. If adopted, this would represent the first real tax relief to county homeowners since the late 2000's housing crash saw home values plummet.

In addition, I have proposed that we put an end to the Meals Tax before it even gets out of the barn. In locality after locality, most recently in neighboring Fairfax in 2016, voters have overwhelmingly rejected Meals Taxes in Virginia. Per, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these taxes hurt those who can least afford it, with those making less than $30,000 per year spending twice as much of their income eating out than the national average. Further, local restaurants that made it through the pandemic are just now starting to get back on their feet. Yet, according to the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association, meals taxes routinely result in job losses and business closures.

A residential tax rate of $0.96 and removal of the meals tax would still result in the county receiving $45 million more in taxpayer revenue than last year but less than the record $124 million currently proposed.
To pay for this, I proposed eliminating the misnamed county Office of “Equity and Inclusion” and removing allocation of funding for the legal groundwork needed to form a taxpayer funded monopoly bargaining ordinance for taxpayer funded county employees to unionize. Like FDR, I object to those being paid by the taxpayers to unionize and bargain against those they work on behalf of via mandatory taxpayer funded monopoly bargaining.

I also proposed a 60% across the board cut to the spending increase over last year's budget - with the exception of public safety. As my office has brought to light, Prince William County presently has an officer shortage of 342 sworn officers below its own stated level-of-service standards and last year, we saw crime against persons and property increase by double digits from the year prior.

Despite this, the current budget does not include funding for a single additional police officer despite the record increase of $124 million in proposed new spending, shrinking the percentage of funding of general fund revenue to the police department for the third consecutive year. Liberal jurisdictions across the country have employed similar tactics at the request of defund the police activists.
With $45 million in new revenue we could certainly spare even $1 million for the hiring of five additional officers for a down payment on closing the 342 officer gap we're seeing amidst increased crime.
To communicate your wishes on the Board majority’s proposed budget or my alternative budget ahead of tomorrow evening's adoption you may contact the entire Board directly at [email protected]. You may also call the county switchboard at (703) 792-6500 and ask to be transferred to your appropriate Supervisor. As we saw with the unconstitutional gun control resolution and boat tax proposal of 2020, in-person speaking can prevent negative consequences from happening as well. You're welcome to join us at 7:30pm tomorrow evening at the James J. McCoart Building, 1 County Complex Court, Woodbridge, VA. Residents unable to attend in-person may address the Board virtually via this link.
For Prince William,

Yesli Vega
(703) 792-4620