Scott York's "Funhouse Accounting" - Not Funny.

From a recent Friends of Scott York email blast:

“Like every other statistic such as household income, home prices, new cars, and the price of milk, tax rates must be adjusted to current dollars to make accurate economic comparisons — especially to compare today’s rate with the 1980’s when Mr. Stockman served on the Board, when Loudoun had 25% of its current population and when Route 28 was still a two-lane country road. When comparing today’s $1.285 tax rate with the 1980’s, and stating the results in 2011 dollars in accordance with the Consumer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mr. Stockman’s service on the County Board was marked by dramatically HIGHER tax rates than we have today. The adjusted tax rates are as follows, a far cry from Mr. Stockman’s claim that “tax rates today are the highest in Loudoun County’s history”.
•1984 $2.39
•1985 $2.37
•1986 $2.10
•1987 $1.75
•1988 $1.81
•1989 $1.60
•1990 $1.47
•1991 $1.56″

What is wrong with this analysis?

First, Scott York knows that the tax rate was NOT $2.39 in 1984– but asserts that anyway. Even Joe B. says the tax rate in 1984 was $1.10, but only based on an unverified and out of context Washington Post article– where is the original link, Joe, or wasn’t this your research in the first place?

What Scott York does above is attempt to INTENTIONALLY mislead the delegates into somehow thinking

1. the tax rate was higher in 1984 than it is now (when we know $1.30 was the highest in Loudoun history — and Scott York voted FOR the $1.30,) and

2. Stockman did not vote to lower taxes.

Anyone who understands tax rates understands you do not apply a Cost of Living adjustment to tax rates. So York’s numbers in his mailer were simply bogus, intended to mislead and confuse.

Using Scott York’s analysis, if you paid a 30% tax rate (which could be described as $33.33 per $100 of income) in 1984 that would be the equivalent of paying a 75% tax rate today. One percent in 1984 was one percent and one percent in 2011 is one percent.

So York justifies his record of high taxes by using phoney math to say the approximately 1 percent rate in 1984 should be 2+percent in today’s dollars? This analysis from our Chairman of the Board? Yes, if you had a home in 1984 that was valued at $300.000 and the tax was one percent, the tax then would have been $3,000. And the tax on that appreciated home, which would be worth more than a million today, would be $10,000 at one percent. The one percent stays the same but one percent tax in 2011 is a lot more than 1 percent in 1984.

How naive, ignorant or plain dishonest to say the tax rate in 1984 was really 2.39 percent when York knows that is false?

And even looking at Yorks “adjusted tax rates” the plain truth is that taxes went down by more than 30 percent in the 8 years while Stockman was on the Board, in stark contrast to York’s record, where taxes have gone up more than that in the last 4 years where land values have been decimated at the same time. Rising taxes and lowering land values makes it even harder to sell homes…

Your decision, honest math or smoke and mirrors? Who do you want in charge of our budget?