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Polarization of the Pension Problem in Fairfax County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(Fairfax County, VA) - For the past several months, the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition (SUV GOP), a PAC dedicated to connecting to suburban voters in Northern Virginia, has alerted Fairfax County citizens about the dangerous $2.5 billion unfunded pension liability facing the County Government. SUV GOP released a four-part video series on the topic called “Fairfax Has A Problem”.


Working with Supervisor Pat Herrity (R-Springfield), we applaud the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ willingness to consider modifying its pension plan to tackle this growing liability and start restoring the county’s fiscal health in the face of ballooning pension costs. Rational and reasonable debate is underway by the Board to consider adjustments that will address this critical issue. 

 

However, these small steps have come under shrill criticism by the public sector unions and sycophantic Democratic state legislators. Fourteen of sixteen House of Delegate members and four of the nine State Senators representing Fairfax County (see signed petitions below) demand that the Democratic-controlled Board take an extremely polarizing position of opposing any changes and call for Democratic Board Chairman Sharon Bulova to stop working together with Republicans to reach a solution.

   

Even the Board Chairman’s son, Delegate David Bulova (D-37th), states, “We recognize the prudency of periodically examining County programs, including the retirement system”.  But he is so beholden to the public unions that he then goes on to ask his mother to maintain the existing County retirement system for both current and future employees.


Squeezing out our Working Middle Class and Senior Citizens


The County has raised taxes 26 percent over the last five years to pay for its growing pension burden while other needs have gone unmet. These constant tax increases have put a real strain on working middle-class families and senior citizens in Fairfax County.  


Seniors are stretched to pay rising property taxes for housing that will allow them to live close to their grandchildren and lifelong friends.  Middle income families are being forced to leave the county.  Young families looking to plant roots in our region, so critical to maintaining the tax base, are avoiding moving to the county at all, opting instead to live even further away in Loudoun or Prince William Counties. 

 

Democratic legislators, controlled by public sector unions, have committed Fairfax taxpayers to provide the bulk of the funds to the county employee retirement fund as compared to the private sector where employees finance their 401(k) retirement accounts mostly with their own contributions.  In effect, it is a corrupt circle where the public unions support the Democratic legislators and the Democratic legislators in turn fall in line and reward the unions with “over-the-top” pension plans.  The taxpayer gets stuck with the bill and covering a growing unsustainable debt.


Just like the dangerous path the city of Detroit and the state of Illinois followed, public sector unions in Fairfax are unwilling even to consider that county employees should begin to contribute more to their own pensions or new employees should receive less generous pension benefits.  Both are realistic approaches to managing the pension liability.


SUV GOP believes Fairfax County has some of the best employees in Virginia.  We love living here.  But resources are finite.  And we don’t want Fairfax to go bankrupt under the weight of pension obligations the way Detroit and Illinois have.  Even with the proposed modifications, Fairfax County will be offering its employees the most generous pension plan in the region.  The County will still be able to attract the best and brightest employees.

 

Fairfax taxpayers have been asked to do their share through the 26 percent tax increase over five years.  It’s now time for public sector unions to do their part and compromise. We are not asking a lot.  We’re only asking that county employees contribute one percent more to their pensions.  Are public sector unions so absolute in their demands, and Democratic politicians so beholden to them, that they would soak taxpayers more or take funds from needed projects all in the name of keeping their members from having to contribute one percent more to their own pensions? 


It’s time for Democratic board members to decide: do they stand with their middle-class taxpayers or do they stand with the unions?

No Compromise

Virginia State Senate Members (4 out of 9 Democrats representing Fairfax)



- Janet Howell (32nd)

- Richard Saslow (35th)

- Scott Surovell (36th)

- Dave Marsden (37th)




Squeezing out the Working Middle Class and Senior Citizens


The County has raised taxes 26 percent over the last five years to pay for its growing pension burden while other needs have gone unmet.  Seniors are stretched to pay rising property taxes for housing that allows them to live close to their grandchildren and lifelong friends.  Middle income families are being forced to leave the County.  Young families looking to move to the suburbs, so critical to maintaining the tax base, are avoiding moving to the County at all, opting instead to live even further away in Loudoun or Prince William Counties.  



Public Unions In Control

Here are the lists of Democratic “No Compromise” state legislators that are beholden to the public sector unions and have petitioned the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to make no changes  or  to fix the county’s $2.5 billion pension problem.


Below you can find each of the petitions signed by these Legislators.

Virginia House of Delegates Members (14 out of 16 Democrats representing Fairfax)


- Kathleen Murphy (34th)  

- Mark Levine (45th)

- Mark Keam (35th)  

- Alfonso Lopez (49th)

- Kenneth Plum (36th)  

- Marcus Simon (53rd)

- David Bulova (37th)  

- Karrie Delaney (67th)

- Kaye Kory (38th)  

- Jennifer Boysko (86th)

- Eileen Filler-Corn (41st)  

- Elizabeth Guzman (31st)**

- Kathy Tran (42nd)

- Mark Sickles (43rd)

- Paul Krizek (44th)


**Note: Elizabeth Guzman does not represent Fairfax County. She represents Prince William and Fauquier but signed the petition and wants the unions to know that she also supports no compromise.