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Who winds up paying for services? Everyone

Date published: 5/25/2014

I have paid real estate, personal property and other taxes to Spotsylvania County for more than 32 years.

In the early years, the mantra of the county leadership was to espouse commercial development. The theory was that the taxes paid by the commercial development would offset tax increases to be paid by homeowners and support the necessary services the county provides.

Few would argue that substantial commercial development has come to Spotsylvania during those 32 years; however, the supposed tax savings from commercial development for individual homeowners doesn't seem to have materialized--at least not for me.

The same holds true for personal property taxes. A check of my financial records shows that I have paid, including inflation, more in actual hard tax dollars to Spotsylvania, in virtually every tax year for more than three decades.

I paid more in real estate taxes this year than last--even after the so-called equalized tax rate was applied--for the same real estate.

I paid more in personal property taxes this year than last--for the same property--even though I should have paid the same or less, according to published reports, because the value of my personal property declined.

Let's face it--someone has to pay for the services to be provided to all of those folks moving into all of those new homes you see going up around the county--and it is going to be the county residents. It has always been thus.

All of the shenanigans in the county involving proffers from developers, constant approval of huge subdivisions and expanding commercial properties will wind up being primarily paid for by the same folks who always wind up with the tab--the homeowners, in one form or another.

The result will always be the same. Our Spotsylvania taxes will go up! That is virtually guaranteed.

Michael B. Goodin