Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Club for Growth, Part Duex

As always I must first apologize when discussing any VCG topics and I always misspell Phil R.'s last name and therefore will not refer to him as Mr. R------------, but rather Phil R. I find this endorsement to be very interesting and wanted to utilize one quote from Phil R. in an opinion piece he wrote about Sean Connaughton during the primary.

"....there is a big difference between going negative and promoting falsehoods. And Connaughton’s hit piece is full of the latter... Connaughton implies he has cut taxes. While the tax rate has gone down assessments have skyrocketed, resulting in an average increase in real estate taxes...."
Staton is apparently claiming he to fights to cut taxes in this release. Funny thing is if you view Staton's issue section he points out that while he pushed for the 2004 tax rate to be at $1.07 (having voted against the $1.10), but the rate would have to be placed at $1.02 for there NOT to be a real dollar tax increase. So, in 2004 Supervisor Staton supported increasing the tax burden on the average family in Loudoun-- just not as much as other supervisors. In 2005 he voted for the largest rate decrease in Loudoun history, by the way the decrease was not as much as Connaughton's package in 2005, that still led to an increase in the average property tax bill. Just curious as to the inconsistencies on this one Phil R. Can anyone enlighten me?


At 1/03/2006 02:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that Staton's going to do a great job of representing our true conservative values in Richmond!

At 1/03/2006 02:33:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

You didn't answer the question. I have no doubts that Staton or Minchew would do a wonderful job. The question here is why do the standards applied in 2005 not hold true in 2006?

At 1/03/2006 03:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't say.

You and TC are Sean C.'s poodles, so I don't know that I really trust you analysis of the numbers, when it comes to evaluating your critics.

At 1/03/2006 03:27:00 PM, Blogger J.Sarge said...

It appears to me that you are exactly right, Mr. JMS.

I dislike this issue. If someone cuts the property tax (like, say, Kaine or Connaugton) and real estate assessments rise, VCG goes all nutty and calls them tax raisers. That's preposterous. The economy is increasing the tax burden, not the government (unless the assessor is in on what would amount to fraud).

Homeowners should be happy that their assessments are going up. That means that there is a viable resale market for their homes. In effect, they are making money just be sitting on their fannies.

I'm not saying that an increased burden isn't troubling for a family, but that is one of the prices for prosperity.

What do you want to say to Connaughton and Kaine? "Stop doing such a good job making my community a desirable location! You're making me too wealthy!"

At 1/03/2006 03:28:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

I linked facts from Staton's own website. Unless of course those of us on the blog have the ability to hijack someone else's website and alter their press releases and issue statements.

Man, we are real good.

At 1/03/2006 04:16:00 PM, Anonymous NoVA Scout said...

Was it Emerson who said "a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds," or something to that effect? Mr. R has a very large mind, apparently.

I applaud any official, Reagan, Connaughton, Staton, etc., who is willing to take on existing tax structures and do what they can to lift the tax burden on the economy, national or local. No one has been more successful on a large scale in doing this in Virginia than Connaughton (I exclude Gilmore because of the botched execution of the car tax roll back and the effect of the reimbursement mechanisms on local budgets). But Rodokanakis made a mockery of his professed devotion to tax relief by his intemperate attacks on Connaugthon for lowering rates substantially at a time when average house prices/values were climbing. Rodokanakis called Connaughton a "liar", a very, very nasty word, by equating housing value increases in PW with tax increses, a silly notion on its face, but one that gullible or inattentive people may have bought into. Now the principle, by virtue of the noise which powered it, if not its economic or analytical merit, is firmly established in conservative GOP circles that tax-cutters are tax-raisers if the net arithmetic impact of tax relief is increased collections or overall increases in ad valorem tax bills on individuals whose assets have appreciated. This is a principle that turns the world upside down, makes New Dealers of Reaganauts, Liberals of Conservatives, pacificts of warriors and just generally makes my head hurt.

There is no standard at all if Staton, whose participation as a member of the Loudoun Board in lowering rates modestly is decidedly less spectacular than Connaughton's leadership as Chairman in PW in lowering rates greatly, gets a pass and Connaughton is subjected to the most undisciplined verbal abuse imaginable from people who style themselves as being as Conservative as Connaughton.

The fact is, that there is no principle emanating from the Staton endorsement. This is about raw politics and personalities. It is far more important to Phil Rodokanakis that there are politicians who would sign loosely worded "pledges" in advance of election, than it is that there are politicans in office who are meticulous and aggressive in finding ways to manipulate the levers of government to lower tax rates. To Phil R., the reduction in rates in PW from $1.36 to $.91 on Connaughton's watch is less laudable (indeed worthy of condemnation with charges of personal deceit on top) than the comparatively trivial decrease in rates in Loudoun. In both cases the arithmetic of growth and prosperity means that the Counties are collecting more revenues, higher average per unit taxes or, in some cases, higher tax bills on rapidly appreciating pre-existing homes. But that's a function of the nature of the ad valorem tax when applied in robust residential housing/construction markets.

If 1% of the energy and intensity Rodokanakis/Bolling and their crew brought to sliming people like Connaughton was applied to attacking ad valorem taxes and advocating their replacement with income taxation, I could take them more seriously. Right now, however, VCG is clearly an opportunistic manipulator who would rather back candidates who talk the talk than those who walk the walk. To the extent anyone pays attention to VCG, it does great harm to the GOP and to conservative principles of enlightened tax policy.

I don't live in the 33rd, so I have no dog in the fight over there. I know Minchew a little bit and think he is able and would do a good job. I don't know enough about Staton to have a strong opinion that he would be an inferior candidate. Just because VCG supports a candidate doesn't mean he's an anti-conservative, anti-tax reform candidate with no sense of the true purpose of lifting the burden of taxation. But it's not a good sign. Nor is it a good sign that someone seeking office would sign Phil's pledge. Once a candidate starts signing pledges for anyone in advance of knowing all the facts of any given situation he/she is likely to encounter in office, that candidate is no longer working for the citizens, he's working for Phil or whomever got him to sign the pledge (unless he intends to sign it and ignore it - that's not good either). Perhaps that's why the dedicated public servants simply refuse, regardless of who asks. They then go out and do their best to ensure that the people's money is spent wisely and appropriately.

At 1/03/2006 06:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just looking at who's supporting who, it looks like all of the 'No Tax' guys out there are supporting Staton, over his opponent.

This is either because Staton's a better friend to tax payers, or else because his opponent, Randy, is more likely to be a tax-hiker.

Regardless, it looks like the favored anti-tax candidate is Staton!

At 1/03/2006 06:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is from the Loudoun County website:

Tax Rate

The fiscal plan reduces the real property tax rate from $1.10 ¾ to $1.04 per $100 in assessed value. Because of an increase in the value of residential property assessments, the annual property tax bills for the average homeowner will increase by about 12.4 percent, or $464.


At 1/03/2006 06:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is from the Prince William County website:

PWC Tax Reduction Initiatives

In October 2004, the County updated its revenue sharing
agreement with the schools and directed that the average
residential real estate tax bill not increase by more than 5.9%.
The proposed budget presented a tax rate of $0.924 to meet
this direction but through the course of the budget process, the
Board of Supervisors was able to reduce the tax rate further to
$0.91 cents per $100 of assessed value. This resulted in the
average tax bill increase of only $128 or $10.66 per month.
Through their actions in reducing the tax rate, the Board of
Supervisors offset 86.5% of the impact of increased


At 1/03/2006 10:36:00 PM, Blogger MR JMS said...

you and your darn facts.

At 1/04/2006 02:03:00 AM, Blogger too conservative said...


Seans poodle?

Lets stick with facts here...

both candidates are qualified, and both are solid conservatives.

I support Mr.Minchew in the primary because I believe he will win easier against the Democrat, and he is supported by other Republicans whom I have long supported and respected such as Tom Rust.

At 1/04/2006 12:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I disagree. Randy is a nice guy, but he is not a conservative. This is why the conservatives in NOVA have all backed his opponent, Staton.

This is also why the more moderate faction of our party has backed Randy.

At 1/04/2006 01:15:00 PM, Blogger nova_middle_man said...

The million dollar question republicans have to ask themselves is would you rather have a democrat or a moderate republican.

At 1/04/2006 03:13:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...

I'd rather a REAL republican, rather than one who will vote with the Dems he gives money to!

I think that Staton would be a good contender in the 33rd!

At 1/04/2006 07:04:00 PM, Blogger Waltzing Matilda said...

I would rather have a Republican who can win. If the GOP continues to insist on nominating the peron who yells that he is a conservative loudest instead if the candidate who can win, the Republicans will be screaming and the Dems will governing.

At 1/04/2006 07:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Minchew was with Black and Staton when the Loudoun GOP swept to victory? So he was a "conservative" when he was an ally but a "liberal" when he becomes an opponent?

At 1/04/2006 07:13:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...

But what is the value of electing a guy who's gonna vote w/ the Dems anyways?

At 1/04/2006 08:23:00 PM, Blogger too conservative said...

Under his Chairmanship..Republicans expanded on the board

At 1/05/2006 01:03:00 PM, Blogger Involved said...

I don't see a direct correlation... but good!


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