Dear Mayor, Vice-Mayor and Council Members,
We urge you to protect our businesses and promote economic growth by rejecting any increase in the commercial property tax.
This tax is not right for our City, it is inequitable and the City has other ways available to fund transportation projects.
We believe this tax is not right for Alexandria. We are different than our neighbors, Arlington and Fairfax County. Our neighbors have many large, national and international corporations to help shoulder the burden of transportation costs. Our business tax base is predominantly comprised of small, locally owned and operated businesses that subsist on narrow profit margins. To expect small business owners to bear tax burdens in a manner similar to the way our neighbors tax their businesses is unrealistic. It is also potentially crippling to the businesses that foster the unique charm we have in Alexandria which is craved by residents and promoted by the City.
We ask you to consider seizing the opportunity to market our City as a tax haven for businesses and a more attractive option to locate a business as compared to our neighbors.
We believe this tax is inequitable. We support transportation improvements and we are willing to pay our fair share. However, funding these needs cannot be borne solely by the business community. Residents and businesses alike will benefit from transportation improvements, and thus, the funding of such improvements should result from a uniform tax rate.
We believe this tax is not the only tool available to the City to fund transportation improvements. A commercial add-on tax cannot be supported by Alexandria’s small business base. A dedicated allocation of general revenue funding may be established for transportation infrastructure improvements. You also have the ability to issue general obligation bonds to fund transportation improvement projects.
We ask you to consider these points carefully and protect our businesses by refusing to impose the commercial add-on tax.