NORTHERN VIRGINIA - There appears to be a tax cut competition underway in Northern Virginia.
Several communities are now trying to outdo each other when it comes to cutting or freezing property tax rates. So far, Fairfax, Prince William, Arlington, and Loudoun counties have all made moves to freeze or cut taxes, and in Alexandria, the City Council is looking to freeze property tax rates after cutting them two cents just last year.
Local leaders say the cuts are being driven by taxpayers feeling the economic punch or inflation.
"This is being partly driven by inflation, supply and demand issues related to COVID, and we’re hoping it’s a blip," said Jeff McKay, Chair of Fairfax's Board of Supervisors. "Our folks need relief they’re facing the same financial challenges that the counties are and frankly they have limited resources, so frankly we needed to help them."
To help those struggling residents, Fairfax County's Board is moving to cut the residential property tax rate by 3 cents.
Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson tells FOX 5 the tax rate changes are less about competition and more of an effort for Northern Virginia's governments to keep pace with each other and to keep housing costs competitive across the area.
"We have an ‘affordability crisis’ in this region and all the jurisdictions are trying to address the challenges of affordability and certainly real estate taxes go to part of affordability and not just for homeowners but also for renters," Mayor Wilson told FOX 5.
In addition to the local tax cuts or freezes, more help could be on the way from the state level. The Virginia General Assembly launched a special session Wednesday night, where one of the main priories will be tax cuts proposed by Governor Glenn Youngkin. Youngkin has previously said he believes the state’s budget surplus should be put back into the pockets of taxpayers, instead of being used for government spending.