Alexandria City Council member Robert L. Calhoun said he will shortly introduce to the council one or more proposals designed to limit the total amount of real property taxes that can be collected next year.
The proposals would not necessarily affect the amount of taxes paid by homeowners, although they should "on the average, provide relief," Calhoun said.
The Calhoun documents. Which are similar in intent to proposals the council passed last year would have the effect of putting a ceiling on the amount of money the city budget could receive from property taxes.
That ceiling might limit collectable property taxes to the same amount collected last year. Or permit an increase of no more than 4 or 5 percent over last year's rate. Calhoun said after Saturday's city council hearing. The ceiling would in effect set the tone for the budget sessions.
Currently $40.4 million is collected in real estate taxes, approximately half of the $80 million budget. However, only about 25 percent of the city's residents are property owners, one reason why Calhoun believes that property owners are "in revolt" over taxes. The tax rate is $1.54 per each $100 of assessed value.
The ceiling on property taxes would apply only to existing property, not to new construction, housing improvements or additions, he said.
Calhoun said after Saturday's meeting that he is working on related proposals that would require City Manager Douglas Harman to submit a budget for next year that reflected the property tax ceiling. Calhoun would also like to see a budget that does not include room for the hiring of additional city staff.
Calhoun would also like to limit pay increases for city and school employes to 5 percent next year and require that any unanticipated state or federal funds be used to decrease property taxes, rather than increase spending.
Last week City Manager Harman wrote a memo concerning the Calhoun proposals, terming the potential bah against the hiring of additional city staff as "unnecessarily restrictive." Rather, Harman wrote that he would like to have a tax or spending limitation used as guideline within which his office could work regarding hiring.
Calhoun's economic concepts are expected to be discussed at next week's council session.