Alexandria is home to a group of diverse and profitable businesses. Alexandria has outperformed the state of Virginia and demonstrates this with a lower unemployment rate. However, our city’s business growth has stagnated. This can be seen in high office vacancy rates, overreliance on property taxes to fund City operations, and a debt that continues to escalate at a problematic rate.

It is time for Council to act before the fiscal situation overwhelms the City.

My three-point plan to grow small business in Alexandria includes business attraction and growth, creating a friendlier business climate,  and ensuring a stable fiscal future. If elected, my three-point plan will produce tangible results that will steer Alexandria into a more solvent position.

 Business Growth

  • Small businesses need the best and brightest workers to ensure they continue to grow and innovate toward the future. I want to make sure Alexandria is the most attractive place to live for new and existing job seekers by providing high-quality city services and an affordable property tax market.
  • According to the City’s Five Year Financial Plan, residential property and commercial property taxes encompass approximately 58 percent of the FY2015 General Fund Revenue. This places the burden of paying for city services too heavily on middle class homeowners.
  • By attracting new and innovative businesses, revenue would increase by having more entities paying taxes, not the same people paying more taxes. As a member of the City Council, I will advocate for smart policies to ensure the city obtains a diverse revenue makeup and ensure that we can continue to provide great city services and keep property taxes from skyrocketing.

Create a Business Friendly Climate

  • As your City Councilwoman, one of my main objectives will be to promote economic growth in Alexandria. That objective can be accomplished through reductions to Alexandria’s Business, Professional & Occupational (BPOL) tax across all business categories.
  • I will seek to create a pilot-program in a selected business sector where the BPOL tax rate is one cent below Arlington County’s rates. After the pilot-program, I will work together with city staff to see how the reduction altered the business environment and will explore how to reduce the tax burden for businesses all across Alexandria.

Ensure a Stable Fiscal Future

  • Over the next five years, expenditures will increase by approximately 4 percent; however, the city revenues are expected to only increase by approximately 3 percent annually. The city is spending more money than it is taking in. As a result, the city will assume a $128M cumulative deficit by 2020. Our debt has also grown exponentially. From 2003-2015, the debt has risen from $140M to $530M. Alexandria’s interest on the debt is $64M.
  • I am worried that the city will have to pursue significant tax increases if corrective action is not taken soon. This uncertainty makes it hard for a small business to anticipate future expenses and may prevent further investment.
  • As your Councilwoman, I will push for a return to responsible spending and common sense cuts to expenses. This mindset needs to be applied to the city budget as well as the city capital investment program.