A Fairfax Circuit Court judge denied yesterday a citizen lobbying group's request to halt distribution of a pamphlet on county bond proposals that it called "biased propaganda."
"There is no legal obligation that says the Board of Supervisors must present the pros and cons of the issue in this brochure," Judge F. Bruce Bach ruled after a two-hour hearing.
The Fairfax County Taxpayers Alliance sought an injunction against the board to stop it from mailing 230,000 copies of a brochure describing three bond proposals on the Nov. 2 ballot. The county has proposed $108 million in bonds for park, road and Metrorail improvements and construction. The county budgeted $43,500 for printing and mailing the brochures.
The bond pamphlet is "biased propaganda and doesn't fairly represent the truth of the tax impact of the bonds if they should pass," argued Louis S. Papa, attorney for the Taxpayers Alliance, which has challenged the county in court unsuccessfully on other tax issues in the last six years.
The Taxpayers Alliance argued that the brochure did not point out that the bond sale would increase the county debts, which would lead to increases in property tax payments. Bach noted, however, that the pamphlet said "not selling bonds could contribute to a tax rate decrease."
The brochures, which have been held by the county pending yesterday's hearing, were being mailed out yesterday afternoon, county officials said.