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Watch out! Super-size sprawl is on the way
Stafford super-size sprawl on the way! By George Schwartz

 The Falmouth intersection has state funding, but other roads also need upgrades.
FILE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Date published: 7/29/2010

STAFFORD County Supervisor Cord Sterling ["Stafford County poised to prosper," July 18] describes a Stafford County with a "perfect" school system, "perfect" tax system, and an imperfect road system about to become "perfect."

Let me tell you a few of the things he did not mention.

Our Republican-led Board of Supervisors is micro-managing the Stafford County School Board. Funding was dedicated to the Stafford County Public School instructional budget line because the BOS doesn't trust the School Board to manage its total budget. In addition, funding--despite Mr. Sterling's words--was reduced for fiscal year 2011. The pay raise for school personnel was initiated by the Democratic/Independent BOS members in December 2009, despite Republican arguments against the appropriation.

Mr. Sterling says that the Business, Professional, and Occupational License tax would have disproportionately burdened small businesses.

I am a strong proponent of economic development for Stafford and a known advocate of the Strategic Redevelopment Plan for Boswell's Corner, Courthouse, Falmouth Historic District, and Southern Gateway (U.S. 17). But organized hysteria concerning BPOL blurred the truth. A business with $1 million of gross revenue would have paid an $800 tax. The same business in Fredericksburg pays a $1,600 tax and $800 in Spotsylvania County. This means that the millions in BPOL revenue that other jurisdictions collect are lost forever in Stafford; i.e., $3 million the first year of BPOL and increasing every year thereafter. It also means a loss of $3 million for the first year for schools, for transportation, for fire and rescue, and for the Sheriff's Office, and $3 million lost to all the residents/voters/taxpayers of Stafford County.

It's clear that Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania are growth machines when it comes to new retail (Eagle Village in Fredericksburg and the Village at Spotsylvania Towne Centre). But Stafford County continues to lag behind.


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