Prevent OTG From 20% Property Tax Hike to Fund Someone Else's METRO Station
As residents of Old Town Greens and as Alexandria Voters, we urge you to immediately cease and desist all attempts to raise our Property Taxes by over 20% to fund a potential Metrorail project as part of developing Potomac Yard.
If the City believes that developing Potomac Yard will benefit the entire City, then all City citizens should be responsible for funding this Metrorail effort; if, however, the City believes that only those that will directly benefit from developing Potomac Yard should fund this effort (i.e., 10% value increase assumed by the City for properties within ¼ mile of the Metrorail Station entrances), then those property owners should shoulder the entire burden. Either way, it is fundamentally unfair for Old Town Greens to be expected to quietly accept a 20% Property Tax hike in 2010 and each year going forward to fund a Metrorail project that may never come to fruition, or even worse, will not benefit our community at all if/when it is completed.
As we understand it, the City is proposing a 20-cent per $100 of valuation “Special Tax District” on already developed property including us, Potomac Greens, Slaters Lane Retail and the Station at Potomac Yard to fund the Metrorail project, citing the original Potomac Yard CDD approved in 1999 as governing authority. This would be in addition to the current 2010 Property Tax Rate of 97.3-cents per $100 of valuation, which in and of itself is more than a 10% increase over 2009. We remind the City that when the CDD was approved in 1999, the location of the “footbridge” to the Metrorail station itself was to be at the north end of Old Town Greens (within ¼ mile of our homes). If this were still the case, Old Town Greens would have a constructive and actual tangible benefit from the Metrorail station, and should be expected to help fund this effort. Now, at best, the Metrorail station will be located at the north end of Potomac Greens Drive (some 0.65 miles from our homes), and may be located as far north as behind Target or Regal Cinemas at the Potomac Yard Shopping Center (1+ miles from our homes). Under any of these scenarios, the existing Braddock Road Metro Station is as close (if not closer) to all of our homes than any of these three potential locations.
We understand that plans always can and usually do change over time. And, since the location of the Metrorail station has changed significantly since the Potomac Yard CDD was approved in 1999, so too must the plans to finance the project. You have the ability to determine the scope, breadth, applicability and assessment of any “Special Tax District” – you are beholden to no one but yourselves, and to us as your constituents. So, once again, we urge you to immediately cease and desist all attempts to raise our Property Taxes by over 20% to fund the potential Metrorail that will not benefit us financially or convenience-wise with a “closer” Metrorail station. Either the entire City should share in this expense, or only those who will benefit financially or convenience-wise should shoulder the burden.
We commit to voting AGAINST all Members of the City Council in the next election that continue down this unfair and destructive path, and encouraging all of our friends and neighbors in the surrounding neighborhoods to do the same. We further commit to exploring all of our legal rights and remedies against the City regarding this arbitrary and capricious tax assessment.