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Services not keeping pace with higher taxes in Northern Virginia

Thursday - 3/13/2014, 8:03am  ET

When you pay more in taxes, you expect more in return. But Northern Virginia jurisdictions are finding it hard to meet their end of the bargain.  The Washington Post reported that local lawmakers are encountering growing demands to invest in schools, roads and other services at the same time that homeowners are already feeling the pressure of higher tax bills from higher property assessments.

The situation has sparked heated debates over whether to raise tax rates for spending projects...or lower them to help homeowners who feel besieged by escalating expenses.

In Fairfax, sewer rates have nearly doubled since 2008, to $6.62 per 1,000 gallons of water, while real estate property taxes have climbed nearly 20 cents during the same period to a current level of $1.085 per $100 of assessed value.

Fairfax officials recently advertised a new residential property tax rate cap of $1.105 per $100 of assessed value, which will allow the county to raise the rate by up to two cents to fill a $64 million funding gap projected by school district officials. There is also a push to raise the tax rate in Loudoun, to bridge a $40 million school funding shortfall.

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