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Thanks to Richard Brady for his sensible response to the skewed article in the paper (“County real estate taxes are inequitable and comparatively high, yet vital to preserving Rappahannock’s identity,” Sept. 9). The fact is that even though we have the highest composite index and we have no chain or box stores for extra revenue our tax rate is about the same as all our neighbors except Fauquier, which is fifty percent higher. On a household basis, of course, the median tax is less in other counties when you throw in all the cheap houses that are the result of rampant development.
Rappahannock County lends itself to two disparate uses: cattle and houses. It takes an average farm size of four hundred acres to sustain 100 cow/calf pairs. This relates to a gross income of maybe $70,000 out of which comes all expenses (feed, fences, equipment, fuel, insurance, labor,etc.) I forgot to mention real estate taxes and groceries. To make land tax any more onerous would drive all farmers off their land except for the independently wealthy. Even with our ordinance of 25-acre density and five divisions from a parent tract, the landscape of Rappahannock County would soon be irreversibly altered.
Stonewall-Hawthorne District Supervisor,