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Want to raise taxes? Collect debts first

Date published: 5/4/2014

The Fredericksburg City Council is proposing to raise property taxes, water, sewage and trash collection rates.

An April 22 article stated that the Silver Cos. owed back taxes on Celebrate Virginia property and no auction has been scheduled on the South property, whereas Stafford County has scheduled an auction on May 21 on the North property.

The April 24 FLS reported that the City Council approved a five-year incentive package for QRC Technologies, reducing their business tax.

The city is building a new courthouse and developing a new riverfront park that costs tax dollars while providing incentives to businesses that reduce the tax revenue that would offset some of these expenditures.

The city proposes to provide employees with a cost-of-living increase and bonuses. Those employees are faring better than federal employees who received no COLA for three years along with attempts to reduce their salaries.

Fredericksburg is a diverse city with many economic strata and ages. The projected additional $144.60 property tax on the median-priced home of $241,000, in addition to the increased water, sewage and trash rates, will cause problems for some.

Over the past year, increases in food prices, health insurance and doctor and drug co-pays have occurred.

We all want an attractive city, but we need to consider who is paying the bill. The council needs to address the delinquent tax list before deciding to raise property taxes.

One reason Detroit found itself in bankruptcy was because of lack of enforcement of delinquent tax payments. The City Council should prioritize what is needed against what is desired only after the big fish have paid their overdue bills.

Shirley Grant