The owner of a used vehicle dealership on Pantops has announced he will run for Rivanna District Supervisor as an independent candidate, setting up a second contested race for elected office in Albemarle County this year.
“I have a large stake and a personal investment in sound government in our community,” said T.J. Fadeley. “And I’ve been asking residents ‘how did you like your recent property tax bill?’”
Fadeley is a graduate of Albemarle High School who has run Free Bridge Auto for the past 20 years. He said he and many others have been shocked by two consecutive years of double-digit increases in real property assessments.
“Where’s the taxpayers’ advocate on the Board of Supervisors?” Fadeley said. “There isn’t one.”
Fadeley said all new spending by the county should be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. He said middle class property owners are feeling the pinch of higher tax bills and don’t have access to either tax relief for those with low incomes or land use taxation for those with large estates.
“Supervisors should be finding ways to reduce spending rather than raising the tax burden on residents,” Fadeley said. “Instead they just keep rubber stamping the proposed budgets of county management and every year the tax rates and the assessments and the fees go up.”
Fadeley said he would have voted to lower the real property tax rate this year. On May 3, Supervisors approved a $554.8 million budget based on a real property tax rate of $0.854 per $100 of assessed value. That’s been the same tax rate since 2019.
“Our community needs a new voice and it needs new choices,” Fadeley said. “It’s time for a local government to do what residents have been doing and to lead by example to tighten their belt. Current levels of spending are currently unsustainable.”
If he qualifies for the ballot, Fadeley will face Democrat Bea LaPisto-Kirtley who faced no challengers from within her own party. LaPisto-Kirtley won election in 2019 in a race that was technically uncontested but write-in candidate Mike Johnson received nearly a third of the vote.
Democrat Michael Pruitt is so far the only candidate for the Scottsville District to succeed Donna Price. Price opted to not seek a second term. Independents have until June 20 to qualify for the ballot with the Virginia Department of Elections.
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