Letter: Morris “Bud” Jacobs, Middleburg

Editor: As everyone knows by now, Middleburg’s mayor, Town Council and staff have been discussing two potential boundary line adjustments or annexations, as they are known. The issues are complex and require thoughtful consideration of the benefits and costs of proceeding or not with these adjustments.  

Recently the mayor held a well-attended public information session regarding these actions, and the town also has information about them on its website, including a section for public comment (middleburgva.gov/bla).  We have also set aside a separate public comment session for each of our twice-monthly council meetings and will continue to do so for several months more.  Our goal is not only to keep the public informed about possible actions that affect the town, but also to solicit ideas and suggestions we may not have considered. 

So far feedback has been informative and comments—both pro and con—have been helpful. The Town Council appreciates the thoughtfulness of most; it is the only way we will get any of this right. However, a recent letter to this newspaper not only mischaracterizes possible consequences of the BLA proposals, but also attacks the mayor, imputing base motives for even considering these questions. 

Among the writer’s misleading assertions was his charge that annexations are tied to a desire on the part of the town to gain funding for the new town hall through the increased real estate tax revenue that would come with these adjustments. In reality, real estate taxes form a small percentage of the town’s budget (less than 15%), with over 70% of our tax revenues derived from our businesses. Real estate taxes do not cover the costs of the services our citizens receive. In fact, following substantial increases in 2022 real estate tax assessments by Loudoun County, the town council significantly reduced real estate tax rates to minimize the impact of the increased assessments on our property owners.  It should also be clear that the town hall project is fully funded through very favorable loans, money already in our budget, and county and federal grants. There is simply no relation between the town hall and the potential annexations. Again, we thank those who have reached out to get the facts to understand these proposals.  

The same writer—instead of offering concrete suggestions on how to do the annexations smarter or influence development outcomes if we do not proceed with them—only demands that we “fight” the possible developments. Fine, but how are we to fight in a way that will have any impact? We only control what happens in our borders; Loudoun controls the rest. Perhaps if the writer had examined how “by right” development works in Loudoun County, he might have come up with ideas—instead of empty exhortations—to help the town as it tries to navigate these waters.  

Morris “Bud” Jacobs, Council Member

One thought on “Letter: Morris “Bud” Jacobs, Middleburg

  • 2022-05-10 at 9:24 am

    I’m glad Council Member Bud Jacobs wrote this letter. It’s gives a more balanced portrayal of how Middleburg approaches taxation & development. Also, I appreciate his defense of Middleburg’s new Town Hall. The facility will look very impressive & give one a sense of arrival to a fabulous town. Happy Spring Loudoun!

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