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Supervisors Debate Creating New Special Service District (SSD) Tax

Whether or not you agree with the Special Service District (SSD) tax, this is a good example by Supervisor Yakabouski of how local officials should work to inform and generate support behind a cause that is important, but may not generate much public attention.

This issue will return on September 25 for a vote. However, based on Board member comments, it seems that Supervisors Marshall, Skinner, Trampe, and Yakabouski have concerns with this SSD in its current construct. But make your voices heard nonetheless by contacting your local supervisor.

While developers certainly don't need additional help to fulfill their mission, in this instance I do feel that they are speaking some logic. This tax will likely have a greater impact on Spotsylvania residents than we might conclude on the surface. In modern times, brick and mortar businesses are struggling mightily to compete with online businesses like Amazon. We should not locally add to these struggles.

Additionally, changes to the proffer laws prohibit the County from generating the type of proffers from new developers that previous projects paid, thus putting prior projects at a disadvantage to new ones. While I may not have supported the Jackson Village and Alexander Crossing projects when presented, our leaders must adjust to these new circumstances. Will future developers keep their prices low to undercut the rents Jackson Village and Alexander Crossing projects will need to charge to be successful? Will neighboring businesses keep their prices lower to undercut commercial businesses in Jackson Village and Alexander Crossing projects? Or will those neighboring residential and commercial properties raise their prices to generate more revenue and make it more difficult for Spotsylvania residents to shop and live in this County?

Taxes are important as they fund critical elements that we value as a community. However, SSD's are a supplemental tax that is more than likely passed on to the consumer in higher prices of goods and services. I'm oppose to SSD's because it allows the County to generate revenue without directly taxing citizens, while disregarding that those same citizens are likely paying more for goods and services because of it. Therefore, while the discussion is focused on Jackson Village and Alexander Crossing, this tax could have a domino affect on all Spotsylvania residents if it leads to higher costs for goods and services and housing prices. That possibility is why this issue should be important to all Spotsylvanians.

Todd RumpComment